I can’t believe that the Sonoma County Fair is here already! I swear it was just yesterday that the Danger Twins were bringing their lambs home and making that first trip to Hunt & Behrens to get feed and shavings for their lambs. This year seemed to be one for the books when it came to problems….and most of it due to the crazy weather we have been having. We had everything from upper respiratory infections to acidosis. But what got us through all the craziness was not only our close family but our fabulous 4-H family. Ask anyone who has or had a child in 4-H about their club and they will talk fondly of their “4-H family”. We parents form friendships and bonds that last well after our kids have moved on out of the club because we not only share the good times but also the stressful times. We share the laughter, the tears and offer the ” it’ll be ok’s” and really mean it.

Here’s a good example…. today was move in day for the sheep at the Sonoma County Fair and by this point, we (the club project parents) know about the ailments that the sheep have. And unfortunately, this year my daughter had a lamb that had lost so much weigh after being sick for almost 10 days that we were not sure if the lamb would make weight to be shown in the fair. And so the worry begins. Many hugs and pats on the back of support were given to Miss B as the time drew near to get Peanut onto the scale to find out his weight. As she approached the scale with Peanut and Blue, her other lamb, she looked up in the stands and could see her surrogate parents all sitting there with smiles of  encouragement. It was at that moment that you could see the stress lift from her face. Peanut was loaded onto the scale and I swear it felt that all the air was sucked out of that open air barn!

The chute gate opened and peanut came out the other side…WAIT! What was the weight? We were all so focused on Miss B, that we didn’t get Peanuts weight. I look to see the breeder shaking his head….”Oh please no” I thought. This lamb has got to make weight, she’s worked so hard. I fight hard to hold back the tears as I walk over to my daughter. She looks so sad and defeated. As I start to say something, anything to comfort her she looks at me and says “it’s ok mom, I’m sure every farmer has a bad year”. We  share a hug and as we were getting ready to put Peanut back in his stall, my friend Renee yells out “HE MADE WEIGHT”. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or scream with joy! Can you feel the weight lifting?

There were other kids today who’s lambs crossed the scale and we held our breath and shared their joy and some we shared their sadness too. But that’s what we do. For a lot of us, we have known each other since we were walking our lambs across that scale. So it is only natural for us to support one another.

Day two of sheep week is fast approaching so I better sign off now. But stay tuned as the fun has only begun as we go into week two of the Sonoma County Fair and “Sheep Week”. If you get a chance to visit the fair, come by and take a look at all the hard work in that barn and meet  “My (4-H) Family”.


Until next time and big props to our Gold Ridge 4-H family,