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Visit Ag Expo for a real good time

July 25, 2006|by JEFF SEMLER

The lazy hazy days of summer or the dog days of summer - call them what you will.

For many farm families across the nation, it is fair time or soon will be.

Here in Washington County, the annual Ag Expo is underway.

By now, several champions have been crowned with more to come and the smoke will start to roll tomorrow evening with the first of two nights of tractor pulls.

Obviously, the county fair has changed a great deal over the years.

In the 1800s when fairs began, the major audience was the farming community. Neighbors would gather to view and compete with one another.

Many a hay crop, ear of corn or sow was compared over the years. Business transactions also took place at the fair; a bull brought to the fair by one farmer may by week's end be purchased by another.

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Ah, but that was back when 8 out of 10 Americans turned the soil. As folks left the farm, the fair changed, too. Oh, it is still neighbor competing against neighbor, but the general public is the focus as well.

The fair is a place our "city" cousins can come and learn from exhibits and exhibitors.

Alas, the fair is now being judged by those city folks on the entertainment scale. Many folks who do not attend the fair, say there is nothing for me. Translated, that means there is nothing that excites me in the 20-minute attention snippets television has preconditioned me for.

Well, you might want to give the fair a second look. Walk the exhibition halls and barns. Low and behold, some of the arts, crafts and culinary arts have not vanished. Exhibitors are more than happy to talk to you about their prize animals.

Don't forget to stop by the Ag Adventure Tent.

This is a hub of activity with calves and pigs being born and chicks hatching. There will also be lots of hands-on activities for the young and young-at-heart.

For those of you still needing a little entertainment, the tractor and truck pulls should do the trick.

Again, when fairs began, there were horse races and oxen pulls. When I say that, I mean neighbors would race their own horses and the oxen would be brought out of the field.

So whether you are looking for fun, food, nostalgia or a combination, make sure this week includes a visit to Ag Expo for you and your family. I guarantee you that you will have a good time and you may even learn something new.

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