I enjoyed the various articles in the Great Bend Tribune about the Barton County Fair. To be sure, it is humorous to contemplate a contest such as “Who will kiss a farm animal contest”. Nearly everyone would giggle with delight if some noted celebrity or politician would step-up and enter a “Kiss a Pig” contest.
As humorous as such contests are, it should be remembered that farm animals are central to the success of any county fair. Many kids, whether they be in 4-H Clubs or just youngsters from the farm, invest many long, hard hours grooming, feeding, training and getting their horse, cow, goat, pig (or whatever animal) into the best shape possible. Furthermore, “winning a Blue Ribbon” is a sign of excellence that goes far beyond the annual fair. It is a reflection on dedication, responsibility, and skill with animal husbandry. The relatively few minutes of “judging” is minuscule to the year-round dedicated care of farm animals. While I might not want to “kiss a pig”, I can relate to those who want to “Kiss a Blue Ribbon”. Anyone gifted in any type of agricultural endeavor ultimately makes Kansas prosper economically....and that is definitely worth celebrating.
James A Marples,