Submitted By Carole Soule
It only rained one day at the Deerfield Fair this year.
Our hairy cattle didnít mind the cold wet weather but it chilled
me to the bone. Most livestock are okay in the cold but humans
not so much. Thankfully, the fair had tents and
buildings to shelter us frail farmers from the weather.
This year the Deerfield Fair had a special surprise for sheep,
goat and llama exhibitors; a new barn. Two huge buildings were
built in part of the parking lot to be used by small animal
exhibitors. The larger of the two buildings housed livestock and
the smaller was used for sales of wool, knit hats, fiber and a
show ring all in the spirit of advocating for agriculture. Yes,
the Deerfield Fair and many New Hampshire fairs, have a midway
with rides that turn you upside down and inside out, but they
also are the best place to get up close and personal with
livestock. Where else can you pet a cow, scratch a llama or see
a Silkie Bantam chicken? At the fair!
After the fair, all of the pens in the new sheep and llama
buildings will be removed and the space will be rented for
storage of boats, campers, trailers, whatever. These
rentals will help pay for the buildings so they will be
available each year for farmers and their livestock; true
multi-purpose buildings. Promoting agriculture is not cheap but
the Deerfield Fair Board of Directors found a way to help expand
livestock exhibits and pay the bills. Weíve seen fairs
struggle this year, the Rochester Fair had to close its doors.
Itís not easy to make ends meet for NH fairs but Deerfield is
working hard to stay in business. Good work guys.
Fairs also help train young farmers. This year at the
Deerfield Fair pig scramble a twelve-year-old friend of ours,
Caleb, caught a piglet who he named, Scarlett. She now lives at
Miles Smith Farm and hopefully will become a mother someday.
Iíll keep you posted on her progress. Catching piglets to
check their health is a skill every hog farmer needs so I told
Caleb, when heís ready, he has a job on my farm.
Meanwhile, I was grateful for cover from the weather as well as
hot chocolate on that one blustery, wet day. The rain
didnít keep visitors away for long and the show went on
protected from the weather in barns and shiny new buildings. The
Deerfield Fair is all about agriculture in New Hampshire
although the fried dough, corn dogs and maple lemonade do add a
Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH,
where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other
local products. She can be reached at