Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Great Minnesota Get Together

            At the Minnesota state fair you can find a wide variety of things, from a good livestock show to just about any food, deep fried or on a stick. The 12-day "Great Minnesota Get Together" really has a lot to offer and this year was no different! As a Minnesota FFA State Officer I not only had the privilege of attending the fair but working in the FFA Chapter House and CHS Miracle of Birth Center. During my time at the fair I got to engage fair goers in conversations about the many ways agriculture impacts our lives each and everyday. I had the opportunity to speak with people of all ages from three years to ninety - three years. During my time at the fair what spoke to me the most was not what I heard talking directly to fair goers, but what I saw.
            Thousands of people walk in and out of the Miracle of Birth Center each day. For hundreds of them, that was their first experience with farm animals. Watching the reaction to the miracles being born was truly spectacular! At the end of each day I would sit back and think about what I had witnessed. I remember one instance in particular...

            I saw a child standing by his mother in the middle of the barn. The child began to tug at his mothers shirt and shout, "Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!!! Look at the puppy!"
            (For those of you that have been to the Miracle of Birth Center you already know that we don't have any puppies)
            The mom then calmly leaned down to her child and said, "No son, that is not a puppy. That is a calf."
            The child just stared in pure amazement and all he could say was, "Whooooahh!"
            Seeing perfect timing for an educational moment one of the veterinarians on staff chimed in and said, "Well actually this is a polypay lamb, She was born four days ago here at the fair and her name is snow cone."
            I thought the child was amazed when he realized it wasn't a puppy but his look was priceless when him and his mother found out that the "calf" was actually a lamb.

            The CHS Miracle of Birth Center does a great job at bringing the farm life to the city. Throughout the 12-days at the fair I am sure there were more experiences to be shared than just what I encountered that day in the barn. As agriculturists, it's our divine privilege to advocate for agriculture, for not only twelve days a year, but throughout all three hundred and sixty-five days. Just as the State Fair was a perfect opportunity, absolutely anywhere can be. One of my classmates mentioned something earlier this week and I believe it couldn't be more true in our roles as agriculturists. She said, "Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect." As we go out and advocate for the greatest industry in the world, let us remember to make every moment perfect and seize the day!
            Thank you to everyone who helped make the Miracle of Birth Center a success and Congratulations to the FFA members that showed livestock this year at the fair. We were privileged to have over 450 exhibitors. A great turn out for the "The Great Minnesota Get Together!"

Stationed by the Rising Sun,

Shawna Conrad
MN FFA President

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