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Governor Taft Stays Overnight At State Fair

Thursday is the eighth and final time Governor Bob Taft will spend the night with an Ohio State Fair Farm Family - A tradition that started with Governor James Rhodes.

Megan Greenawalt blow dries one of her family's Limousin heifers in the Voinovich Livestock and Trade Center at the Ohio State Fair.

"I'm drying her after I gave her a bath. You blow it forward because that's the way it grows. If you blow it opposite you'll get swirls," Megan said.

Megan may get to show Governor Bob Taft the proper way to blow dry a bovine. The Greenawalt family, dad, Mike; mom, Kris; and their three children: Megan, Matthew and Molly, are the host family for Taft's overnight stay at the fair.

The Greenawalts are from Lynchburg in Highland County, and raise beef cattle on Fawly Farms. Kris said morning chores start early and take several hours.

"We got here at about seven o'clock this morning. And we immediately, each of us has our own jobs, but then they were probably eating by 7:30 or so. We have certain things we have to mix in the feed. They were probably eating by about 7:30 and now it's not quite ten," Kris said.

There are many things to do: feeding, baths, then a snack. But Kris said Taft will probably just have time for the first feeding.

"We won't be doing a whole lot after he gets here so late. But in the morning it will be feeding, bath time, blowing, hay. We'll treat him to as much as we can," Kris said.

Farming for the Greenawalts is a family tradition. It began with Kris' grandfather, but she said with each generation comes more difficulty in carrying on that tradition. Kris said she and her husband have jobs outside Fawly Farms.

"You get home at six and 6:30. And when you'd love to sit down in that easy chair and kick your legs up, and there's no doing it. And there are often nights that we don't get in until nine o'clock and that's when we eat supper," Kris said.

Kris said it's a hectic lifestyle, but she said it's one she keeps because her family loves farming.

"Megan just could eat and breathe this all the time. So we do it for her and for my father, to keep the farm going. But, yeah, it's very, very difficult. You can not do it on just a farming income, and survive maybe the quality of life that you would really like," Kris said.

The Greenawalts have about forty head of cattle on their farm. They say they are looking forward to spending time with Governor Taft.