Grit Blogs > There and Back Again

4-H at the County Fair

Paula Ebert headshotWe are home recovering from the Pottawatomie County Fair. For the first time in four days, I have the chance to do more than run home, do chores, sleep, pack up for the next day, and drive back. Whew.

I’m new to 4-H, newly married to a farmer, new to chickens, and hogs and cattle. I grew up with horses, but just mainly as a hobby, although once in a while we’d go help an uncle with his ranch; I grew up in Colorado, lived in Wyoming, but was transplanted to Baltimore, Maryland, and Trenton, New Jersey, for a while. Boy, am I glad to be back! When we were there, people would ask me what was the same, and I’d say “nothing.”


My son and I are sort of starting our lives over here on the farm, and 4-H has been a great part of our transition. I’m impressed with the level of commitment from families, and also from the kids, most of whom spend untold hours with their animals, or working on projects like foods or clothing, making rockets, or taking photos. As my husband says, “4-H teaches you the ‘R’ word – Responsibility.”


We are lucky in Pottawatomie County – the kids are able to run around where ever they want. The young ones check back in with the parents and off they go again. For the kids, it is the big social event of the year. There is a large county near us and their fair is fine, but there’s a carnival, and I’m just not comfortable turning my back on a small child. But in our little Pott County, everybody seems to know everybody. It is a comfortable feeling, knowing who the extension agent is, knowing people beyond just the ones in our club. Even if you do get recruited to be the Poultry Supervisor. I’m looking forward to it. I think.


It is astonishing to see how people work together. When we set up for the fair, my first time was last year, I remember thinking that all it takes to accomplish a lot in a little amount of time was to recruit a bunch of farmers. How do you know when you’re done? When my husband can’t find anything else to do.

I am looking forward to being a GRIT blogger and I hope we can journey together “There and Back Again.”

Paula Ebert

paula ebert
8/12/2011 9:34:29 PM

No, this is the little Pottawamie County in Kansas. I'd like to go to the Iowa State Fair; but I'd settle for the Kansas State Fair. Maybe this year! Thank you for your kind welcome. I'm pleased to be a part of this wonderful community.

nebraska dave
8/12/2011 10:33:27 AM

Paula, welcome to the GRIT blogger community. Would the Pottawatomie county that you are talking about be in Iowa? I'm just across the river in Douglas county. I was never involved with 4-H but I do know it's a lot of work but at the same time is a lot of fun. Some of the county fairs are so great. The Iowa state fair, so I've been told, is number two in the nation. I'm not sure how a state fair could get any better than the one in Iowa nor do I know where the number one fair resides. It sounds like you will have many stories and experiences to keep us fascinated in future posts. It's a very diverse community and many interesting subjects are the topic of posting. Have a great recovering from 4-H day.