Coming from the Philadelphia suburbs I never experienced County Fairs and had little knowledge of 4-H and FFA organizations but leave it to a sweet little 10-year-old girl to give me a great lesson and a wonderful experience.
Sitting in my store one day this cute little girl came walking in clinging to her mother. The mother introduced themselves to me and said that Jane had a letter for me and whispered to her to hand me the letter. It took every ounce of courage for Jane had to reach out and hand me the letter, then immediately retook her position clinging to mom.
I opened the handwritten, personalize, letter with pictures that told me all about her pig that she had spent about a year raising to prepare to show it at the upcoming county fair. It was a solicitation letter asking for bids on her animal at the auction.
I was taken with this tiny little farmer and spent some time trying to put her at ease and get her to utter at least a word or two, but every question I asked ended the same with her look of fear and turning to her mom. After a while a thanked Jane for coming in and that I would look for her at the fair.
As she turned to leave her mother bent down and whispered in her ear, Jane looked at me, back up at her mom then back to me, she told a large breath and then with all her might she took a step forward and held out her hand for me to shake. She melted my heart and still had not said a word.
On the last day of the fair I took Jane’s letter along the others that I received all written with care and pride. Joined a couple hundred of community members, business and community leaders, at the auction it has become a real social event a fun day at the fair with friends, neighbors and associates. Our business community leads the way in ensuring the events success.
We all spend a half a day watching as young, hopefully future farmer brings their animals to the auction stand with pride and anticipation. As our favorite auctioneer needles the bidders from the stand all the animals go for way over the market value, ensuring that the young farmer not only covers the expenses put gets a start on the next years projects.
I finally figured out the workings, and one of the animals I had selected was up, the bidding was fast and I went a little past my budget since I found that a was bidding on Jane’s pig but then finally the auctioneer shouted sold and mentioned, in jest, that it was about time I had a bought something.
I shorth while later walking towards me I spotted Jane, this time leading her mother, as she approached she held out a gift bag, as is the tradition for the buyer, looked at me and smiled and said “thank you for buying my pig”, she turned and ran back to her smiling mom and got a big hug.
This program certainly does wonders for our young people teaching how to raise an animal but also, the business, marketing, communication aspects.
But that day again I was reminded what a wonderful opportunity I received to live in a community like ours where a really good day can be turned into a really great day by a smile and just a few words from a little girl named Jane.