By Marie Meis
Elgin Review Staff Writer
It’s very little sleep each night, plenty of animals and kids running around and lots of double-checking to make sure everything is in its place. It’s weeks of preparation leading up to four days of crazy, chaotic fun. It’s big trophies and red ribbons.
“It is my kid’s favorite week of the year,” Kerri Drueke, mom of three, said.
She is, of course, talking about the Antelope County Fair July 30-August 4.
Family enjoys 4-H
The Drueke’s officially took on the title of “4-H Family” a few years ago, being a part of the Wheeler County Fair for one year and are now onto their third at the Antelope County Fair.
With three kids: Grady who’s 11, Kinley at age 9 and Jory at 6 years old, the family has two 4-H members and one Clover kid who have a countdown to fair tagged on their refrigerator. It holds all the important deadlines and interview times in a colorful format to remind everyone in the family it’s getting closer and closer.
“I’m doing vet science, photography and baking cookies,” Kinley said as she explained her projects. Her veterinary science educational poster is about tapeworms. This is her first year as a 4-H member and she and her brother are tackling quite a lot.
In addition to these static projects, they are taking cattle and horses.
“We work the cattle every day,” Grady explained, “Lead them, wash them, rinse them out.” Their mom estimates about three to four hours spent in the barn each day, sometimes more depending on what they choose to do that day. Grady is doing similar projects as his sister, his vet science poster covers bloating, something they had to manage with their cattle this year.
The family has been working on projects each day. When they’re not in the barn or at a ball game they’re filling out record books and making posters.
“Really, if you were smart you would do things in the winter. But we work better under pressure,” Kerri joked.
Kerri was a 4-H member herself, showing her family’s dairy cattle.
“I just knew it would be something my kids would enjoy. It shows handwork and it is also a lot of fun,” she said.
If the days leading up to the fair are crazy, the days of the fair are downright chaotic.
“It’s a lot of late nights and early mornings but the kids are usually pretty willing to get up because they’re excited,” Kerri said. Having three young kids and quite a few animals to take care of can be pretty stressful, but she explained that her children working with animals has taught them a lot.
“Kinley has learned to be tough, she’s got a big heifer,” Kerri said, “They’ve learned you have to stay calm and not freak out about things.”
These lessons will come in handy as the fair gets closer and closer. So let’s hope the projects get entered, the animals cooperate and the 4-H members learn valuable lessons for this upcoming Antelope County Fair.