This past week there was a story in our local news about a little boy who died while riding with his dad and brother in a tractor on their family farm.
My heart breaks for this family and although I believe that it was the right thing for the news to report on the story, it was not ok for the newspaper to write a front page story about kids and farm safety so soon after this families horrific tragedy.
I believe that those of us who are raising our children on farms know the risks and dangers they might face when they help out or tag along.
We have taught and continue to teach them about safety every single day.
But I want a story to be told about the BENEFITS of raising your children on a farm, and it is my belief that they by far out number all of the risks and dangers the public likes to report on.
Accidents happen every single day whether it be in a car, an airplane, home, work, school, or on a farm...we can live our life in constant fear of the 'what-if's' or we can choose to live each day to the fullest and allow our children to see all of the beauty that this world offers!
This past week, we brought the kids to the West Ottertail County Fair where we all had a great (albeit HOT) time being together.
We met new friends, spent time with family, and took care of a couple of very cute farm calves.
I am so PROUD to be raising these farm kids of mine!
All three participated in the tractor pull....
And Ty even took 2nd place in his age division (he told me later he was happy he got 2nd because he got a "boy" colored orange trophy and not the other one that was purple)...silly boy!
This was Madi's first time pulling and she did a great job against some pretty stiff competition!
Tanner improved from his last tractor pull by about 20 feet and came in 3rd.
See the girl on the far right in this photo? She ended up winning and we found out later that she had qualified for nationals in tractor pulling twice in the past...Tanner and the other boys didn't stand a chance, you should have seen her go!!
All ready to show his 4H dairy calf, Sweetie, on Friday morning. This year their 'city girl' mama got it right and found some white pants at a thrift store...apparently this is the required showing outfit for dairy....I learn something new everyday!
She lives for this stuff and had a blast!
Her calf, Squiggles, is pretty spoiled and eats up all of the attention it gets from Madi and her friends (as well as other fair go-ers).
Madi made a lot of new friends this year.
This is her friend Erica who showed a dairy calf and was right next to us in the barn.
They are still cloverbuds (which means they aren't officially judged yet) but I was pretty proud when they wanted to show their calves by themselves (usually a grown up has to go in with the kids). They did great!
Ty had a fun week with his buddy Jack.
These two are going to be trouble at the fair in a couple of years...they liked to run and spy on the girls (their sisters) a lot this week and seemed to be happiest when they were getting into some kind of mischief.
It was their idea to jump in the straw pile behind the calves...
And pretty soon the girls followed suit.
We loved the shake shed and had lots of wonderful shakes (it was a bonus when we were served by our fellow Pelican 4H friends!)
We even took some time to ride the rides on the midway.
This was the first year that we have participated in the 'Barnyard Olympic Games' and I have a feeling we are going to be doing them a lot in the coming years...it was a TON of fun!
Tanner and his friend Hunter won the egg toss in their division (kids 5th grade and under) and were pretty pumped!
Check out the distance on that toss...can you see the egg in the air?
Getting ready for tug of war.
Although it looks like they were competing with each other, thankfully they weren't, or we would have had some tears!
The girls are all from our club and they had a guy from another club join in.
I know that they would agree with me when I say that they are LUCKY to be a farm kid!