Sept. 3 2019 03:15 PM

We don’t go to show, but we still go to see our friends.

It’s been several years since we’ve been able to take a string of show cows to the fair. Between low milk prices, young kids, and an off-farm job, we just haven’t been able to make it work.

But we’ve still been able to enjoy our fair family by attending on show day and standing ringside to appreciate the camaraderie and the view of good cows.

I find it rather special how fairs can bring together people of all types with a love for cows. There’s a bond that grows between exhibitors amidst the busyness of the fair schedule.

One of my favorite aspect is watching the next generation. The fair allows them the chance to not only grow in their skills as exhibitors, but also to meet and grow friendships with other kids involved in the dairy industry. It’s such a great opportunity, especially for areas like ours where there just aren’t many dairies left.

I will be honest that I haven’t missed the added workload of taking a string to the fair. It’s a special kind of exhausting vacation. But inside or outside the ring, I truly do appreciate all the fair experience offers.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of three young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abi-qua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.