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July 16, 2011

Crops, Tractors, Open Class & Stalls

Crops:  Yes I truly believe this is a "parent" project!  But the girls ask to take it every year and since we do farm and raise these crops we let them - they have to sit down with Chris and fill the paperwork out and do all the math, so they do know the amount of hours, the kind of seed, type of tillage and chemicals that went into the crop they are turning in - so they are learning something!

We turn in corn and soybeans - it is required that you turn in the entire plant and the roots!
Chris and the girls always go out just before dark the night before we turn them in and dig up the plant and roots.  We soak them in water all night to loosen the dirt.  With the late planting this year due to all the rain we were worried we wouldn't have anything mature enough to send but the first field of corn we planted tasseled a little over a week ago so we were able to find some really pretty corn plants and just a few bean plants that had one or two flowers.  You turn in 2 corn plants and 5 bean plants.

This is the dirt still surrounding the roots after soaking all night.  Alot of people dig theirs up in the morning and pressure wash the roots - we choose to dig the night before and soak the roots - ever tried to dig in Indiana dirt after no rain for a week and a half - hard as a rock so by soaking overnight I can use the hose and gently wash the remaining dirt off the roots with out a lot of pressure and possible damage to the root ball.

A beautifully clean root ball - if I do say so myself!

The dirt that soaked off the roots overnight!

Soybeans are a little easier - less of a intricate root system but they do have nodules on their roots and you want those intact when you turn the plants in.

Clean soybean roots!

Yes we haul the crops in a livestock trailer - I told Chris it would be hysterical to get a sign for the back of the trailer that said "CAUTION SHOW CROPS ON BOARD"!  We lay them on sheets and then cover them so the wind doesn't blow the leaves - yes I realize how insane this seems, it is almost comical!

Turning in the crops at the fairgrounds!

Then we moved on to The 4-H Tractor Driving!
I might add here that Chris was a 10 year 4-H Tractor Driver and even competed at the state level and placed 3rd!
My Midget carries on the tradition - she was the only girl competing in Jr. tractors (they also have lawn mower) and she rocked the house and totally looked cool doing it!  They are judged on time and also deducted points for any poles they hit in the course - she didn't win because she takes her time but she did only hit 1 pole which is awesome!  I truly couldn't be prouder of her!

A little strategy talk with her Dad before her turn!


And she is off!

Just a small group of her cheering section!

This amazed me - the whole time she was driving the course her brother paced the rope fence kind of mumbling something.  I asked him later what he was saying and he said "I was telling her she could do it and also which way to turn the wheel when she was backing!"  Yes - so sweet and Yes- it made me tear up!  I also had several people notice and tell me that that was really what 4-H wall all about - kids encouraging and supporting each other and yes I am tearing up typing this - I tend to get emotional when I am stressed!

After the tractor driving contest we ate lunch out with friends and actually had a couple of hours to come back home during the heat of the day and finish up Open Class Photography projects!

Too many to post here, but be sure to check Facebook here to see what we entered!

After we turned in Open Class we stopped by the cattle barn to see if stall space had been marked and it sure had so we headed home to load up some equipment and head back to the fairgrounds to set up!

Loading up the fan cage, grooming chutes, show box, my porch swing (yes it goes), fans, signs and anything else we might need!

Everything gets a pressure washer bath!

Setting up!  We always have to keep in mind - everything we haul in has to be hauled home on Friday when the fair is over and we are exhausted!

Today is the parade and final load of stuff to finish setting up the stall!  We might move cattle in tonight, if not they have to be on the fairgrounds by noon tmw.!


  1. oh, that was so sweet with your son 'cheering on' his sister in such a wonderful way... :)

  2. Great post It was touching to read about how your son was cheering on his sister.

  3. Whew Girl! Such great stories! Good luck this week, and keep all your two legged and four legged critters cool. Sounds like this heat is going to try and kick our butts by the end of the week. Benton County runs Thursday through Sunday with the auction on Monday. Keep us posted on the results!

  4. I love every part of this especially your son cheering on his big sister. That is what it is all about.

  5. You know, that is exactly where I'd expect Cole to be! Sorry we missed the parade, mom said it was wonderful. See you tomorrow evening!

  6. You should always use best lawn mower cheap because it will save your a lot of budget

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