So, you are probably now asking, "Who cares?" I can tell you that there are several families in Iowa that care. I grew up participating in 4-H activities for 10 years, as it was a huge part of my life. The Iowa State Fair is part of Iowa, who we are, and what we are about. With the school start dates moving towards the first half of August, many families have to opt out of participating in the Iowa State Fair. This means, if you are a 4-H'er who wants to show animals or participate in the Iowa State Fair, you can't; as you have to attend school. This also impacts FFA members.
I hear from many folks say that this should not matter, as very few kids are in these programs. Now, if that's the attitude that folks are going to have, the program will have fewer kids in them. These programs teach life skills that go on for years. There is a lot of value there. The leadership experience that 4-H gave me was something that I was never able to find in the public school system.
Do people not realize that a lot of money funnels through the tourism industry in August? August is still warm, people want to swim outdoors, people want to experience those fun outdoor activities that cannot be done during many months in Iowa. Let's grab the tourism money while we can, as it's a short season. The money that the tourism industry brings in is vital to our state. And yes, the older I get, the more I realize how money revolves around everything!
My boys are out of school, and I said this over and over while they were in school. The school buildings are hot in August and they are much cooler in June. When sweat is dripping from ear to ear, there's not a whole lot of learning taking place. June is also typically not great weather for outdoor swimming pools, so it would make sense to utilize those pools when the heat is on.
Iowans should be proud of the awesome 4-H and FFA programs that are in our state. Let's give our kids the opportunity to showcase their skills at the Iowa State Fair and not make families choose between school or the Iowa State Fair. And then there is the argument that many kids have nowhere to go in the summer, so school would be better. Really? The last I counted, 180 days is 180 days. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?