Farm Management Minute: County fair teaches life lessons | TSLN.com

Farm Management Minute: County fair teaches life lessons

David Koupal
SD Center for Farm/Ranch Management

Many of you have just finished your county fair. There was a lot of work from both the kids and parents to help prepare the livestock and exhibits. Besides the parents we have the County Extension Agents, judges, cousins, grandparents and other numerous community members involved for the preparation. Why is there so much effort for two or three days worth of exhibits? I feel that the reason why we invest so much time in our young adults in 4-H is to help prepare them for a future in agriculture.

Many of us grew up breaking those steers and heifers. Getting kicked, drug down the gravel road, rope burns or pinned against the gate. It wasn't fun having chores in the morning and again at night. Instead of going to town some evening, we had to rush home to get chores done. I personally remember pulling weeds in the garden hoping to get a purple with my onions. But when the county fair came it was the highlight of the summer to see my friends from around the county and to show them what I achieved throughout the year. This past week my boys were involved with the Fall River County Fair. We had disappointments in some areas and we explained to our boys that next year we will have to work harder to improve those exhibits. But when we shined in other areas you couldn't have paid enough money to see the happiness in their eyes.

In Agriculture every year is like the County Fair. We prepare each year for an abundant harvest or heavier calves to sell. Like getting kicked by the steer, we can have fires, drought, hail, blizzards and low prices. Some years our end results aren't what we expected. But after the sale of our commodities, we return back to the ranch to make changes and evaluate the past year to make next year's exhibit the top PURPLE. Part of my job with the SD Center for Farm/Ranch Management is to help you evaluate your operation. For more information contact David Koupal at 605-995-7193 or email David.Koupal@Mitchelltech.edu