DOBSON — “I’ve been out here in the pouring rain, and I’ve been out here in 95-degree heat.”
Bryan Cave, Surry County Extension Director, spoke about Saturday’s weather for the annual Celebrating Agriculture event in Fisher River Park. “I’ll take this,” he said of Saturday’s mild temperatures and sunny skies.
“Everything is working out,” added Cave. We’ve got good weather and a great turnout.”
The event filled Fisher River park with children who had put down their phones, tablets, video games and assorted other screens and devices to get their hands dirty with agriculture and then wash them again.
Carmen Long, area agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, said, “It’s so much fun for families to go out and do something together. And the kids can learn something while having fun doing it.”
New to the event this year was an attraction called “Germ City,” which came complete with Germy, Mayor of Germ City. Mayor Germy is a fuzzy purple critter with red eyebrows and strings of what appears to be DNA coming out of his/her head. But despite an off-putting appearance, the Mayor is a personable character, high-fiving the children and pointing them toward Germ City.
Once there, the kids could wash their hands and then examine the results under black lights, which quickly pointed out their success or failure at getting their hands clean. they then got a quick lesson in “Clean Hands —Healthy People” before moving on to the next attraction.
The project is sponsored by NCDA department of consumer services and travels around the state to schools, summer camps and the state fair.
John Minchew, who was manning the booth for NCDA says, “It can be really eye-opening to see what you’ve got visually.”
Sophia Foil said her favorite part of the event was “petting the animals” as she was making farm animal notebooks in the 4-H craft tent with her brother Jonah, supervised by parents Kenny and Jessie Foil.
“We come every year,” added Jessie Foil, as she helped Sophia put googly-eyes on her animal.
There were also hayrides, train rides, antique tractors, live music by Surry Line, clogging by Rhythmic Expressions, Miss Daisy, a simulated cow that the children could milk and lots of food. For adults, there was also a Master Gardener plant sale and a farmer’s market.
Toward the rear of the event near the amphitheater where the band played, Caroline the cow, representing Pac Cattle Co. of Dobson, rested peacefully beside her trailer munching on hay for most of the day. Only the bravest kids dared pet Caroline. Her moo was loud and unlike the other animals, she was not penned. Only a halter and a lead rope separated Caroline from her fans.
Skyler Irwin was one of the brave kids who dared get close enough to Caroline to give her a pat.
“I want to be a veterinarian,” said Skyler.
About 4:45 p.m. Caroline was lead into an enclosure where she had a starring role in Surry Central FFA’s game of Cow Patty Bingo. Cow Patty Bingo is a game in which a cow, in this case Caroline, is confined to an enclosed space marked off by numbers which have been purchased by folks playing the game. The first square in which Caroline took a poop would be the winner.
Ticket holders gathered around waiting for Caroline to do her business. The FFA kids took turns getting Caroline to move about the ring. She seemed annoyed but not annoyed enough to run through the minimum security pen.
“We might be here a hot minute,” was the opinion of one of the FFA kids.
But Caroline ended the suspense at 5:24 and took the winning dump on square 292, making Katie Jones the winner of a cash prize of $710. The event, being a 50/50 arrangement, netted the FFA an equal amount.
“I think everyone really had a good time and learned a lot,” said Carmen Long when it was all over.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.