Author: Ken E. Knight

My ‘Shining’ 4-H Achievement

It was a typical Saturday chore day back on the farm, doing those extra things that never got done during the week. The only thing different about this Saturday was the urgency to get it all done early enough to attend an afternoon county 4-H activities meeting. It was obvious that my Dad was more engaged than usual, and finally he just couldn’t hold it back any longer — he just blurted out, “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you’re going to get a big award this afternoon.” He didn’t tell me what it was, but it...

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The Heart of a Livestock Judge

Judging livestock has been in my genes from the time of winning a regional 4-H judging contest at the age of 10 to being on the NDSU livestock judging team. I’ve been involved in judging ever since, and have gained lots of self-satisfaction from helping to guide youngsters to the winner’s circle. Much of my interest in judging was fueled by my father, who always insisted that I select my calves along with the responsibility for the outcome in the show ring. This produced nine grand-champion steers during my formative 4-H years and instilled a spirit of competition that...

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County Fair Livestock Judges and the Litmus Test

The coveted brass ring of the County Fair is the color purple. A purple ribbon majestically adorned with a rosette is held in perpetuity by those who show it off with a sense of pride. But is it always meritoriously awarded, or is it often flawed by politics and other factors of distraction.   Yes, it’s county fair time — a time to reflect and re-evaluate our priorities and objectives. The savory tastes, sights, and sounds of the County Fair are in the air. Colors of red, white, and blue will adorn the stalls of animals that are housed...

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Why We love the 4th of July So Much

Everyone celebrates Independence Day in his or her own tradition. Family memories are as reminiscent as that of any other holiday or celebration. For my family it was the celebration of my Grandma’s birthday. Not many have the good fortune of knowing their birthday will never be missed. She was a stately ole’ gal that made the most of gathering her brood around for a memorable day. Having raised six daughters, there was no lack of family and friends — aunts, uncles and cousins that still share those memories at every family gathering. Though time has taken its toll,...

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The Road Most Travelled to the County Fair

Ours was the road most travelled to the county fair, as it was a direct shot from our driveway to the gateway to the fairgrounds. Many a horse knew its way down that two-mile stretch of unbridled travel. Likewise, there was always that touch of personal involvement that seemed unending. The horse always had to show up at the fairgrounds bushed and tired enough to seem broke. Whereas the cattle, hogs, sheep, etc., got to ride first class and arrive early enough to get the most choice of stalls. Being an optimist and proud of my exhibits, it was...

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