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Rock Island County Fair showcases farmers’ hard work after difficult spring

EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- In a cattle barn at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds, Maddy Stevens make sure her calf Baby Girl is ready for show. The 19-year-old has been showing cattle since she was just eight years old.

"And I've been doing it ever since," she says. "It's been pretty much what I want to do every summer, all year round."

She says it's great to showcase the family farm in Cambridge at the Rock Island County Fair.

"It shows the public how much hard work we go into," she adds.

But this year has come with some harder times than in years past.

"We had a tremendous amount of flooding," Stevens says. "We actually could not get some of our crops in, which is kind hurting us later on because we don't have crops to take into market."

It's a struggle shared by plenty of farmers out here at the fairgrounds. A rainy spring flooded hundreds of acres throughout the Midwest, keeping farmers from planting. Those hardships are starting to affect the livestock.

"The hay shortage is the biggest thing," farmer Andy Dekyrel says. "We usually carry over 50, maybe 100 bales of hay, and we had four when we got done this year."

But farmers say they'll persevere.

"It's been rough, but we'll get through it," Deykeyrel says. "We do every year. We'll complain about it and gripe, but we love it. It's what we do."

The Rock Island County Fair continues through Saturday.

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