Fun at the Fair

Joseph Schuler poses with his award-winning heifer, Sarah, at the Morrow County Fair.

The end of summer means it’s county fair season, and the Threemile team has been busy at our local fairs. Giving back to the communities where we farm is important, and we have enjoyed seeing our team participate in these events over the season. From a pedal tractor pull at the Union County Fair to the dairy heifer show at the Morrow County Fair, our team is helping our community while also spreading knowledge about agriculture to younger generations. 

The first fair of the summer that our team visited was the Union County Fair, located in La Grande, which takes place the first week of August. At this fair, our La Grande seed farm team helped put on a new mini pedal tractor pull. There were two pedal tractors with different weights and young fairgoers got the opportunity to pedal the tractors with different amounts of weights as far as they could. The participants won hats, goodie bags, and toy tractors for participating. We had a great turnout for the first year!

Next up was the Umatilla County Fair, located in Hermiston, which takes place over the second week of August. At the Umatilla fair, dairy employees brought milk and cheese for a dairy foods exhibit & judging. At this event, our team brought six varieties of cheese to taste as well as six different samples of milk to smell. The milk samples had different additives to test the fair participants' knowledge of dairy foods and milk quality. This exhibit displays how important proper on-farm practices are when it comes to creating quality products. Each year, the dairy foods competition has grown, and it is one of our favorite events of the summer!

“Each year the kids learn something new. Being a part of the Threemile Dairy Heifer Program has taught them more about people than they ever thought it would. They see adults being kind, compassionate, experts in their fields, and servant leaders. I am watching my oldest develop and grow to love the dairy industry and my youngest to recognize the value of a team committed to a goal.”

Stephanie Spivey, Parent of Katie who is five-year participant and Darby who is a four-year participant

The Morrow County Fair, located in Heppner, took place the third week of August. At this fair, our team members volunteered in a variety of ways over the week. To start the fair, our team put on a dairy foods display, helped with the pedal tractor pull, took a shift in the snack shack, and supported the Threemile Dairy Heifer Program. 

This year (our 5th) we had 15 participants in our dairy heifer program showing at the fair, some first-timers and some seasoned showmen. At the fair, the 4-H participants show in two classes where they are evaluated by a judge. The first day is confirmation class where the judge evaluates the heifer on her dairy production characteristics; for example, the structure of her feet and legs, the line of her back, and the size and shape of her udder. The next day is showmanship where the students are evaluated on their individual presentation and their presentation of their heifers to the judge. Over the two show days, the judge complimented the herd of Threemile heifers along with commending the showman on their presentation skills. 

After the showing portion of the fair was over, the 4-Hers got to participate in fun activities like serving food to fair visitors in the snack shack and being in the annual parade through the town of Heppner. As the fair came to an end on Sunday, the student said their goodbyes to the heifers as the cows returned to the farm to be added to the Threemile herd. We are happy to report that Sarah, a Threemile heifer shown by Joseph Schuler, won the overall grand champion dairy title. We also had several students with high placing in their showmanship classes. We are very proud of the 4-Hers and their heifers for another successful show season and fair!