The Stoughton Fair is one of the first fairs of the season here in Wisconsin. Being back now, after having to cancel the 2020 event, the fair has seen a very good turn out so far. Whether it’s the food, the rides, the livestock, the entertainment or something else that brings you out to the fair, I think we can all agree that it feels good to be back in the fair atmosphere.
One of the largest components to any fair across the state are the food vendors. What better to support than a food vendor with a cause. Many 4-H clubs, FFA and FFA Alumni groups, and community groups run food stands at events like these to help fundraise during the year. I was able to catch up with cream puff and cheese curd extraordinaire and Stoughton FFA Alumni member, Donald Quam, to learn more about what their group does each year.
The Stoughton FFA Alumni began their cream puff and cheese curd trailer in 1985 as a way to raise money at different events for the group. They attend four different events during the year including, Syttende Mai, Stoughton Fair, Dane County Fair and Utica Fest. The money then raised from these events goes back to support scholarships for agricultural students, and the local agricultural education program and FFA, as well as supporting local food pantries. They continue to see the importance of having students involved in agriculture and want to support that for years to come.
It has been an interesting planning year, as the group was unable to fundraise last year due to the pandemic. Luckily, they had enough reserves to continue supporting student and the community, but so far this year they have seen huge success in support. At Syttende Mai this year alone, they went through 2,200 pound of cheese curds. Their trailer is always a huge hit with both the cheese curds and cream puffs, some people even say the cream puffs rival the state fair’s.
Another main element to the fair is the livestock shows. Youth around the state work very hard with their animals all year to be able to exhibit their animals at county and district fairs, as well as state fair. A unique part of Stoughton Fair is students from multiple counties including, Dane, Rock, Green and others are able to show their animals.
This year, Katie Huchthausen of Stoughton earned the title of Champion Senior Showman in the sheep barn, a huge accomplishment being her first year in the senior division. We were able to visit about all the work she has put in before the fair at home to make this win possible. Huchthausen began showing at the age of 9, by borrowing lambs from a friend. Since then, she has created and expanded her own flock of southdown, oxford and targhee sheep, alongside her sister. Responsibility is one of the main things that she has learned when it comes to animals working hard to train her sheep and setting up effective feeding and exercise programs. She is just one example of the hard work and dedication that many youth put into their livestock projects.
We are looking forward to attending many fairs throughout the summer. Stay tuned for all of our travels!