The pens are taken down. The barns are cleaned out. The exhibits are gone. The livestock have been sold or put out to pasture. The rodeo arena is taken down. The carnival has moved on to the next venue. The Figure 8 cars are … let’s be honest, I have no idea where Figure 8 cars are. The point is the 2019 Cowley County Fair is over. 

From spring until the fair, the most frequently asked question of extension agents is, “Are you getting ready for the fair?” For about two weeks after the fair, the most frequently asked question of extension agents is, “Are you recovered from the fair?” And, it takes somewhere around two weeks to recover from the fair. After about two weeks, I will have regained some of my energy and caught up on sleep. Reports have been turned in, Kansas State Fair pre-entries are being taken and entered online. Now we move on to the next thing. Right?

Sort of. While everything has been put away and everyone has gone home, we’re not quite finished with the fair. Now is the time that we review, reflect and begin planning for the next year. 4-H superintendents will meet to discuss what worked and what didn’t. 4-H families are invited to submit suggestions for improvement to the Cowley County 4-H Program Development Committee. The PDC reviews suggestions and makes recommendations to the Extension Council Executive Board. Suggestions for rules and policy are reviewed by the board and suggestions for materials, equipment and finance are submitted to the Cowley County Fair Board. Cowley County Extension and the Fair Board begin planning almost immediately for 2020, and the circle of life for the county fair continues.

We look forward to next year. We look forward to making plans, adjusting events and getting ready to “make the best better.”  


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

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