Cows or Class?

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

Soon the world's largest round barn will overlook streets decked out with rides, music and vendors, truly a Labor Day tradition, but not before parents of kids in 4-H and FFA in Auburndale decide whether their sons and daughters will even be able to enjoy the fair all six days.

"These kids have worked hard and I just wish everyone can see how hard these kids have worked," says Margie Gehrke, leader of the Country Kids 4-H Club. "How they react to their animals and the learning experience."

In just a few short days, the barn is going to be packed with people and animals and all the rest, but one question remains: should the kids be in school instead?

The first day of school in Auburndale is Thursday, the day after the fair begins, so what about those dairy competitors who need to be at the fair, but have obligations in the classroom?

It's a problem school officials say they're handling the best they can.

"Next year, we'll look at it again and see where Labor Day falls," says John Zimmerman, superintendent of the Auburndale School District. "Maybe we can come up with something that's a little more accommodating for the fair."