Fall fair is still going strong

Large golden round bales dot the fields along the highway. Today, some are lined in rows along fence lines waiting to be moved to feeding areas later this year.
The tops of barley quickly are turning brown and will be harvested soon. The oats are turning from green to gold and will be harvested in the fall.
Driving through farm country, you see young calves nursing from their mothers. At the research station in Emo, the soy crop appears to be thick with leaves and pods.
The fruits of the agriculture industry are shining on.
Beginning tomorrow, district families will begin arriving at the fairgrounds in Emo with their prized animals, crops, and handicrafts. The exhibition hall will fill to overflowing with needlework, quilts, pies, cakes, and pastries.
The best of photography also will be displayed.
I’m no judge of needlework but my wife has explained to me the details of small, intricate hand-sewn quilts. The patience and time spent making the quilts make them a real treasure.
As I looked longingly under the glass displays, the slices of pie and cakes are enough to make your mouth water.
Touring the barns beginning tomorrow, animals groomed to shiny brilliance will walk in the ring to be judged. Only the district’s most perfect beef and dairy animals will show.
Having watched the judging only with an experienced eye helping me could I understand the subtle differences between the top groomed animal and the runner-up.
As a youngster, my father would give my brother and me a handful of tickets for rides on the midway carousels, Ferris wheel, and other rides. When our tickets ran out, we would clamber over the tractors and farming equipment on display.
A day at the fair was never complete without a stop at the 4-H booth for their famous hamburger and just-picked sweet corn. Just around the corner, we would pick up a wonderful milkshake.
By evening, both my brother and I were tired, and my father insisted we had to leave over our objections to stay for the stock car racing. We could hear the cars warming up behind the grandstand.
My father would stand near the canopy of the exhibition building, talking to friends and acquaintances he had made in his life in the district.
This was the one time of the year everyone seemed to connect and everyone passed by on their way to the barns, exhibition buildings, and car and farm equipment displays.
Nothing has changed. Everyone still meets under the canopy. The midway remains as exciting for young and old.
Members of the 4-H clubs still beam with pride when they show their animals.
For three days, the Emo and District Agricultural Fair allows us to experience the pride and work of the agriculture industry, just as it did in 1900.

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