Connecting Past and Future Generations – Jason Lawrence

Connecting Past and Future Generations - Jason Lawrence

Connecting Past and Future Generations – Jason Lawrence

Hi, I’m Jason Lawrence, and I’m from the city of Norwich. I grew up in Norwich in the mid-80s. And then went off to college in Syracuse. After college, I returned back to the city of Norwich, in which I became a member of the Chenango County Agricultural Society.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about growing up in the city of Norwich and having the exposure of the Chenango County Fair. Back in the 80s, I remember some special times at the County Fair, you know, we used to, basically my parents would treat it as a vacation for us because there were amusement park rides, there were agricultural animals, and petting zoos. I remember watching the Joey Chitwood show, the Chevy Thunder Show, monster trucks, fireworks, balloon fests, which were all part of the agricultural society. But it just was a very special time. I remember one time in particular, when myself, my dad, my grandfather, and my uncle, we would always go on Tuesdays to the horse races, which you could stand right down on the fence, and you could see the horses, you can almost feel them going by the wind speed and stuff when they were racing. It was a really important time in my life.

And I think it brought me to where I am now. Because if the Chenango County Fair wasn’t here, I would not have gotten that exposure to the County Fair to the agricultural end. And that’s why I feel it’s so important that we keep teaching our generations and keep working on moving forward with our agricultural education through the Chenango County Agricultural Society.

I remember when I brought my kids back home in 2005. We were very active in the Fair. I started out by volunteering, and the kids would show in some 4H events. And then I became a member of the County Fair Board and which I started planning and helping plan some agricultural events, the entertainment tent, working on entertainment for the grandstand. And the kids, which are now 17 and 13, were always with me, I remember they would travel with me they would stay in the camper. They were like little fair bugs.

My daughter showed horses, cattle, chickens. My daughter is also shown all the way from other county fairs to the national champion at a miniature show. She’s also shown draft horses and chickens. My son, he enjoys the tractors – watching the tractor pull, the demolition derby, but he also enjoyed when he was a little tater tot sitting up in the 4H building playing in the corn bin, it was just an important time for them. And now they’re both members of FFA, my daughter is going to the University of New Hampshire for, or will be going to the University of New Hampshire for veterinarian. And it’s just, that would not have, I don’t believe that would have been the outcome with my two children if I was not brought into the agricultural side back in the early 80s.

After becoming a board member in Norwich at the Chenango County Fair, after a few years, I started volunteering and working my way through the ranks of the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs. And to the point at which in 220, I was elected New York State president of the association which oversees 56 county fairs throughout New York State.

I feel in closing, in closing, I feel that we need to keep getting our agricultural education, not only at the County Fair, but in the schools. And having these events throughout the Fair during that week brings people in and then we’ve got that chance to educate individuals and talk to them and tell them where their cow, where the milks come from, where the eggs come from. It’s just very important to the generations coming in to be part of the agricultural fairs.

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