I have to tell you how difficult it is typing this with a smashed pinky finger.

Welcome to the second week of July 2017, or, as I’m dubbing it, County Fair Kick-off! This week you can attend the Cedar County Fair in Tipton and the Mercer County Fair in Aledo, Illinois. The smell of corndogs, funnel cakes, and lemonade shakeups are in the air. For many, the next few weeks will be full of long days spent at the fair, from all the FFA and 4H events to the grandstand entertainment. Personally, you can find me at the Cedar County Fair Thursday and then at the Mercer County Fair Friday evening.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many great county fairs that have rich histories, some even returning for their 100-plus year. What can make or break a county fair is the turnout from people in the surrounding communities. Being together with your family and friends and sharing memorable experiences are what the next few weeks are all about. In ten years of radio, I have made so many friends from the various broadcasts at local county fairs. There are some people who I might only see each fair week, and we pick up our conversation as if we had spoken to each other just the other day.

My ask is for you to get out, attend a Cedar, Mercer, Muscatine, or Louisa County Fair, and be present for the time that you’re there. Put work distractions aside and soak it up. I’m also planning on spending more time talking to those showing animals or projects and empowering them to pursue agricultural-related fields. The past five years of living in Muscatine have helped me shake my “city slicker” title a little, and trust me; I still have room to learn! So if I ask obvious questions about a sheep or cow, take it easy on me; I’m still trying to figure it all out!

Here’s to a great county fair season, and I hope to see all of you at the Cedar, Mercer, Muscatine and Louisa County Fairs over the next three weeks. Somebody get me a giant funnel cake already!