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Tim the Dairy Farmer: Farm shows

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 06 October 2021

You know you’re a farmer if your “big outing” for the year is a farm show. You might say, “Well, Tim, our big outing is the local county 4-H fair.” Is the 4-H fair really a stress-free time? Heck no.

Running back and forth to the fair not only to check on the animals but also to make sure your kids aren’t up to no good.



Why does the 4-H fair always take place during the dead of summer? Rounding up the kids is the easy part. The hardest part of the 4-H fair is trying to keep your 300-pound pet pig alive in the heat. Poor little “Porkchop” lost 43 pounds since the weigh-in just lying next to a box fan in the pig barn. Nothing says “Showmanship Award” like leading a steer around the rink while his tongue is dragging the ground.

The state fair is always a great outing in the summer. At least at the state fair there are fried Twinkies and adult beverages to keep the stress level down. The worst part about the state fair is trying to find the cleanest Port-O-John to use. They’ve got 15 of ’em lined up to choose from. All of a sudden, you’re playing Let’s Make A Deal. What’s behind door No. 1? Nope. After checking all 15 doors, I usually end up walking two miles to the nearest truck stop.

And then there are the farm shows. There are lots of shiny things at the farm show. And there are also lots of shiny, expensive things at the farm show. It’s like when you were a kid and your mom took you to the mall a month before Christmas. “I want that one and that one …” “Oh! Oh! Mom! If you buy me this, I’ll clean my room every day for the rest of my life.” Personally, I don’t think I could afford anything I see, but everyone has a dream. It’s like me walking through the Old Navy store. I like the clothes, but I know nothing in that store would even come close to fitting me. I look like a busted can of biscuits.

The last farm show I was at, I was walking around one of the new tractor areas. There was a sign up that said “Watch out for the whistling gophers.” They were everywhere. A whistling gopher is usually an older retired farmer who approaches the tractor salesperson and asks, “How much that tractor go fer?” When he hears the price, the gopher whistles as if he was trying to say, “Wow.”

I think the official name for a farm show is actually a trade show. A farm show is like “trick or treat” for farmers. Everyone is walking around with their seed company logo bag or 5-gallon bucket and stopping at each booth to get the free treats they are handing out. Then, when you get back to the truck, you trade your treasures with the person you rode to the show with.  end mark


If you need Tim to speak at your next farm show, visit Tim the Dairy Farmer.