Every year, at about the same time school gets out in May, I begin to hear one of the following: “You’re getting ready to be really busy, aren’t you?” or “You’re getting into your busy season!”  

The answer, of course, is yes.

Summer for 4-H and Extension is a busy time of year. We kick off summer with some local livestock shows, followed by 4-H Discovery Days at KSU, camp at Rock Springs and the District Horse Show — all of them in June. Our 4-H’ers also participate in the State Geology Field Trip, Insect Spectacular, Campfrence, Dog Show, the Bob Hines Memorial Swine Classic, and much, much more — also in June. And we’ve still got July and August.  

Then I start getting the question, “Are you ready for fair?” This question starts popping up around June 25 and is asked with increasing frequency as fair approaches. I can tell you today, with 100 percent certainty, that I am not ready for the 2019 Cowley County Fair. Guess what — neither is anyone else.  

But that’s because things are a little different this year. This year’s question is not “Are you ready for the fair?” This year’s question is “Are we going to have a fair?”  

Yes. The answer is yes. 

Until the higher powers tell us otherwise, yes, we are having a Cowley County Fair. 

Will it be the exact same Cowley County Fair that we’ve experienced every year? No, probably not. It can’t be. 

The City of Winfield has worked diligently to make sure necessary repairs are being made quickly. 

Cowley County 4-H’ers took a break from working on their fair projects to work at the fairgrounds as well. After the initial flood in May, a group of 4-H members was recruited to assist with using fire hoses to wash down the grounds and buildings. 4-H’ers and parents came together to clean and sanitize the interior of the 4-H food standand any equipment that remained in the facility during the flood. Another group of 4-H’ers added a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of the building,and Extension staff added paint to the interior. They swooped in one morning, got busy and were out of there by noon, probably off to continue their other projects.

The show must go on. The show will go on. 4-H members continue to prepare their exhibits. Livestock are still being cared for, pre-entries are being made, sewing continues, rocks and insects are still being collected. The judges have been secured and prizes are ordered. Parents still encourage their kids to keep working diligently to the very end. The fair board continues with their plans for grandstand events and the carnival, vendors and open class judging. We’re having a county fair.

Kelsey Nordyke is the 4-H Youth Development Agent at K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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