Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cars and Cows

Helio Laurin Porsche (left) and Mercedes (right) were exhibited by Danielle and Bradley Bye of the Pine Island FFA chapter (at Pine Island High School). And no, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, they are cows. Helio Laurin Porsche is a registered Holstein, and Mercedes is a Brown Swiss.

I have no idea how the Bye kids ended up with car-themed cows, but it reminds me of the story told by one of my California friends. She raised animals, too (for 4-H, I think; not sure if she did FFA), and all the kids in her family raised and sold huge pigs to fund their first cars. Perhaps Bradley and Danielle have similar ambitions. Unfortunately no one (other than Helio Laurin Porsche and Mercedes, but they had no comment) was around to ask, so the name choice will simply have to remain a mystery.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Her Boyfriend Rides Bulls

As a city kid from Minneapolis, I never had the opportunity to either (a) ride a bull or (b) don a shirt announcing to the world that my boyfriend rode bulls. If it were not for the State Fair I would, honestly, have had no idea that rodeos even existed in Minnesota. Perhaps that's part of why I like the Minnesota State Fair so much -- it brings together EVERYONE in the state, which (despite stereotypes to the contrary) is really a pretty diverse bunch.

The guys shown here were participants in the fair's High School Rodeo, held in the Coliseum. 2011 rodeo events included bareback, calf roping, goat tying, and steer wrestling, among other options. Although the competitors in this photo are male, it's entirely possible that the happy couple on the left had matching his-and-her shirts made up: there are plenty of rodeo opportunities for the girls, too, and, girls, in fact, now outnumber the boys in high school rodeo events. For more on the topic of girls in high school rodeo in Minnesota, check out this 2011 story in the Star Tribune.

If you'd like to get involved in Minnesota's high school rodeo scene, contact the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In case you haven't yet used up your calorie allotment for the day...

So it's not health food. But you knew that. And besides, the Minnesota State Fair only comes twelve days a year.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Forget Peru: Alpacas May Live Near YOU!

According to Butch and Pat Hansen of Pure Country Alpacas, 99 percent of the world's three million alpacas live in just three countries: Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. You can find some of the remaining one percent in Prior Lake, Minnesota, where the Hansens have raised award-winning alpacas since 1997. They show their alpacas at shows around the country, as well as sell alpaca goods (including very soft sweaters!) both online and at various markets and festivals, or at their farm (by appointment). Or, of course, wait until August and meet them (and their beautiful alpacas) in person at the Minnesota State Fair.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lynn's Potato Lefse

Forget all the fried food on a stick. If you want a REAL Minnesota experience you've got to embrace your inner Scandinavian. None of your ancestors ever sailed the fjords of Norway or tilled the fields of Sweden? No matter -- you're in Minnesota now, right? And besides, most of the "Norwegian" stuff is Norwegian done Minnesota style, anyway. So order yourself some lefse, throw around some "uff das" like a pro, and you'll fit right in.

Lynn's Potato Lefse, located in the Food Building, is the perfect place to start. For the uninitiated, lefse is essentially a potato tortilla. Spread some butter on it, add some sugar, roll it up, enjoy. Or splurge and order it with lingonberries.