The ‘miracle’ of agriculture
By SARAH M. SIGNORE
2009 Franklin County
You walk through the gate and take a glance over the fairgrounds. A young child soaps up his dairy cow in preparation of the big show. An older couple takes a seat on a bench where they share a cup of ice cream from the 4-H stand. With lights in his eyes a little boy runs to his mother to show her the bright blue ribbon that he won. Young girls stand on stage voicing how much they love and hope to promote their passion. Teens run from ride to ride until they can no longer stand. Ping pong balls bounce from bowl to bowl and then a goldfish is handed over. Young and experienced alike are showing off their talent on the main stage.
You are at none other than the Franklin County Fair. For a fee that is less than going to a two hour movie you are getting a night full of fun, enjoyment, and a little bit of education on the side. Not to mention, a front row look at the abundance of agriculture on our own front doorstep in Franklin County. We are truly blessed!
Recently, I had the chance to witness a miracle of agriculture. While growing up, I showed dairy cows. Unlike most 4-Hers I did not live on a farm. I kept my show animals at my grandmother's retired dairy farm. When my animals grew to milking age we sent them to commercial dairy farms in the county.
About three months ago, I received a phone call from one of the farmers saying that my 3-year-old Jersey, Mulan, could no longer hold a pregnancy. Her future as a dairy animal was not good. Instead we decided to bring her back to the family farm to keep her as a pet. She shared the barnyard with a pet sheep and two donkeys.
Then one morning, to our surprise, there was an addition to the barnyard. There was a timid, shaky-kneed, brown-eyed Jersey calf standing out in the field with her mother, who we thought could not hold a pregnancy. There are really no words to describe this event other than — miracle.
We need to keep those miracles happening. Agriculture is the vital ingredient to the county in which we call home. It is events like this that really show the beauty and importance of agriculture. At the Franklin County Fair exhibits educate the public about all different kinds of agriculture in our county.
If it were not for the Franklin County Fair, I would not be the person that I am today. It was at the fair that I pointed to a big-eyed Jersey calf asking my aunt to buy one so I could be in 4-H. In the next 10 years of my life I learned valuable life lessons, made amazing friends and contacts, and gained a passion for agriculture that will last a lifetime.
On Monday, Aug. 16 I will be passing on the title of Franklin County Fair Queen. I only hope that she will have the passion for the fair and agriculture that I hold. A Little Miss, Princess, and alternates will also be crowned that evening.
But do not forget about the rest of the week. From Aug. 15-21 there will be music, rides, truck and tractor pulls, food and contests! So join me at the Chambersburg Rod & Gun Club Farm on 3725 Warm Spring Road (Route 995) for seven days and nights of more than just food, rides, and fun!