Coming together for the youth of Jones Co.

Express Editorial

   The Express just completed another year of covering the Great Jones County Fair, and we had another fantastic team working together to get it done.

   As a two-man/woman coverage operation, Pete Temple and I cannot accomplish this great feat alone. As always, it takes man and woman power to have someone at every 4-H/FFA livestock show at all times. Some livestock shows overlap, so that's where our staff, interns, and family members come in handy. Or, some shows require more than one person; someone tackling results and another snapping photos of the winners.

   This year, Rae Ann Manternach, Olivia Goodyear, and Mason Reuter were recruited, and definitely rounded out our team.

   The GJCF is commonly known as "The Five Best Days of Summer," but for us, it was eight days this year. Our team started on Sunday, July 17, with the Open Horse Show. The Cowgirl Queen Contest and Jones County Beef Producers each held events on Monday evening, July 28. The news doesn't stop just because the fair is in town, which meant that Pete and I both had to cover a city council and school board meeting that evening. So Mason stepped up to cover both events. Tuesday is when the fair work really began and our team hit the ground running!

   Every year I lose sleep during the week of the fair because it really is a showcase of the youth of Jones County. And, every year, my anxiety gets the best of me covering the Beef Show. With some team effort, we made it happen, and may have even enjoyed the atmosphere inside the craft beer/wine tent to celebrate.

   I think Pete and I would both agree that Saturday took more effort than any other day due to the extreme heat, humidity, and multiple livestock shows.

   It's not just the animal shows we have to make a presence at, but we have to get photos of the State Fair qualifiers, the queen coronation, the races and pulls, and lots of extras to showcase the GJCF (midway, rides, mutton bustin', Prime Steer, and kiddie shows). If you add those onto the normal fair schedule, you'll see why we need all hands on deck during the fair.

   All of our efforts cannot be accomplished in producing the GJCF Souvenir Issue without the fair and Extension's assistance. Not to mention the 4-H/Extension staff and volunteers. I may have complained about the awful heat Saturday, but that didn't compare to the hard work the 4-H/FFA youth were putting in, sweating, and enduring the heat more than me.

   With new leaders manning the fair and Extension, Lucas Gobeli and Alex Monaghan, I'd say this was a seamless transition from 2021 into 2022. We appreciate the amazing relationship the Express has with both entities as we all work together throughout the summer, even the whole year.

   Here's to another fair under our belt… (K.N.B.)

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