….if I hear that iconic song from State Fair, I might just vomit! 😀

However, I think we’ll talk about the state fair, if you don’t mind.

We really did think this was our last fair.

My wife: not a fan of sitting for days, watching animals, being hot and sweaty in a place not known for being cleanly to begin with.

Me, a little more of a fan, but still not a fan of dust and dirt and other gross stuff being blown in your face by giant barn fans.

My daughter: IT’S STATE FAIR TIME!!


Mind you, we’ve only gone three years, but each year, we’ve added an animal, so this year, our little string was as long as the family who’s been there for many, many years (something they’ve pointed out a lot this summer!). 🙂

Our daughter had a really good State Fair experience, good enough for her to question the direction of her life (urban vs. rural, Anywhere but Iowa vs. Iowa, etc). As I reflect, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s tough on us, because we’ve been making plans too. But, this isn’t about us, other than to say I didn’t get my garlic cheese curds that I’ve grown to love! The rest of this post is what happened down in Des Moines, posted via Facebook.

This is the first in a series of State Fair Memories posts. If you are tired of these posts, mute me! 😀

Tuesday, as I rode down with Kent and Matthew help them finish setting up the display and get things ready for our animals, Faith and Melissa were in Ankany for the Iowa Dairy Princess Contest. While Faith was not selected, she had a great time, met some awesome girls, and found out she knows a lot more than she gives herself credit for about the dairy industry, which is great!

As the Iowa Brown Swiss Princess, she represented the breed well in this competition, something we are very proud of her for doing!

So, Thursday, Faith participated in the 4-H Clothing Selection and Fashion Show. Approx. 270 4-H members came to the State Fair to talk about their clothing choices and to strut their stuff in front of family and friends. This is something Faith did last year, so we arrived about an hour early and still had troubles finding seats. It could be that the building was air conditioned….naw! 🙂

Much to our surprise (and we are guessing Faith’s too), Faith was one of two girls selected for the “On Trend” award because of her dress, accessories, and make up (I think). Either way, she was very excited to receive the award, and going from the show ring giving out ribbons in the novice show to prom dress was very impressive indeed! 

Friday, we nerded out a bit.

We’ve gone to the state fair for three years now, and each year, we’ve had a different farm name because, we really don’t farm! This year, we decided to go with Silent Brook Farm, the name of Melissa’s family farm, as a tribute to the farm and her parents.

As fair got closer, we decided to go “full YeeHaw” (Faith’s term, not mine) and get matching shirts made with the farm name on the front, and a cute saying on the back. I’m not sure if we actually got a picture of us together with those shirts, but they got noticed. ❤️

Thursday was the open show, so we were up and going bright and early to get our three heifers, Della (Spring calf), Sherbert (Summer yearling), and Annabelle (Spring yearling), up and ready for the show.

Della went in first and in a class of 11, she got seventh. She’s a little small for the class, and when they are that young, it makes her stand out. Sherbert was next, and out of a class of 12, got 12th. She’s one that we purchased last fall, and she’s finally gotten to like us. She’s got a decent pedigree make someone a great cow, she’s just not a great show heifer. Finally, Annabelle. She’s been with us for two years and is the daughter of a cow that Faith shows at the county fair, a beast of an animal. Annabelle has been a favorite of Faith’s, and year, she placed middle of the pack. This year, she looked good, but just didn’t get noticed, until this show. She placed 3rd in a class of 11, her highest placing of year in a class like this, beating out heifers she lost to at the National Convention in June.

It was very cool to hear over the speakers at the Iowa State Farm our calf’s name and “shown by Silent Brook Farm”. I know Don and Pat would be rolling their eyes and all this nonsense, but they’d be very proud as well.

Another very good day for Faith!

Last one about the State Fair, I promise! 🙂

And Saturday, oh Saturday, the last day of our fair.

We started Saturday with the Showmanship part of the show, where it’s about not only animal, but you as a show person. Are you stepping right? Are you setting your animal up right? Are you giving good, thoughtful answers to the judge? Faith worked and worked, ending up 5th of a class of 32. It was her highest placing so far, and she received a belt buckle as part of that finish.

The show. Della went in first, and got second in her class, which was pretty awesome! Sherbert went next, and she got 6th out of 10, after a last placed finish in the previous day’s show. Faith’s grin as she came out was worth time we’d spent working with Sherbert all summer. And Annabelle. Everyone was pretty excited about Annabelle after her third place finish on Friday, and she looked really good in the ring. Would you believe she won her class? Nope, I wouldn’t either, unless I’d seen it! A heifer who placed second to last at the Brown Swiss Youth Show a month ago, won her class at the Iowa State Fair.

This meant, for the first time, Faith would have animals going back into the ring for Jr. Grand Champion. And she’d have two animals! Neither were selected, but the fact this happened was just too much fun!

The rest of the day was spent hanging out, getting some good fair food, and packing up. The worst part of the Iowa State Fair, the wait to be dismissed! We were dismissed at 5:00, but didn’t get loaded until almost 8:00, which gave us an arrival time at home of about midnight. We moved slowly on Sunday, getting unpacked, getting laundry started, and preparing for school and moving Faith out……

All in all, this was a very good fair. I like said earlier, “This was our last one!!” Now, we aren’t so sure! If you’ve kept up, thanks for reading these fair memories! 



Will we be back? Hard to say, but right now, I’d wage a bet to say yes, we’ve got another year of this nonsense left! But what can we do? She’s happy and while it’s hard on us, we can make it happen because soon enough, it will be done.

And I’ll miss those big brown animals in my pasture! 🙂