The midway at the Jefferson County Fair saw brisk traffic on a summer day. People enjoyed themselves on the rides. A rash of swine flu cases gave some concern, perhaps not more than usual.
Rachael Stone sat at a picnic table with her friends. "I know some people are very unclean when it comes to using the bathroom, and stuff like that. And just being on picnic tables scares me," she said.
Over at the show ring, royalty of a different type reigned. Farm kids of all ages live for this night. They have the opportunity to show how good a pig can look as well as well it performs in the ring. Anyone who has done this knows it takes a great deal of hard work.
A slim 13-year old girl, Taylor Mazzaferro from Bloomingdale, took the honors for Super Supreme Showmanship overall for showing her pig. Swine flu worries didn't bother her, or her proud mom.
"I know that if I wash my hands and stuff, I'll be good," Taylor said after accepting the award.
"We've been raising pigs now for six years, and I showed pigs the whole time I was in 4-H," Taylor's mother, Barbara Mazzaferro said. "We are really careful around our pigs. Our pigs are taken care of. And, we wash our hands, and we're aware of the disease, and we just take precautions."
Survival of the family farm will depend on farmers like the Mazzaferros. Taylor's mother outlined her hopes for her daughter. Barbara Mazzaferro said, "My daughter wants to show each animal, and so we'll see where that path leads her. She wants to be an equine dentist, so hopefully she'll stay in farming."