With both Winnebago County and Hancock County Farm Bureaus having their agricultural fairs this past weekend, it makes me think of my own experiences on or around the farm – which there are none.
I grew up in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, and I went to college at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, which is in the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, so I didn’t have many chances to visit a farm, much less learn what it’s like to work around one.
I did, however, rent a house on a farm for my final 2.5 years of college. There my retired landlord kept four pigs for his friend in his big barn on the same lot the house was on. Of course, my two housemates and I named the pigs both years we had them – Wilson, Norbert, Nemo and Nelson one year and the next year we named them after superheroes (though I can’t quite remember which ones) - and fed them jumbo marshmallows (really healthy stuff - only the best for the little piggies). I was also able to watch the crops get harvested in the fall and the field readied for planting in the spring.
Now I live in downtown Forest City, and the closest I’ve ever been to the farms was driving south on Highway 69 to get to Britt, and there’s this one spot along the highway where I can lift my nose into the air and, *sniff sniff* “Aahh, fresh manure.”
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As it is, unfortunately the Winnebago County Agricultural Fair was cancelled due to weather and, so far as I know, hasn’t been rescheduled. Luckily, the Hancock County Agricultural Fair still went on, and I was able to experience the farm and interact with the animals just a bit more.
Since this past weekend was an opportunity for the elementary students in the area to get acquainted with the agricultural life and also an opportunity for this city girl to get more of a taste of that life.
Huzzah for agriculture!