Did you see that cow?
Farmer Phil and Farmer Jill entertained youth and adults with balloons, magic, dancing and jokes throughout the Gage County Fair.
“I’ve been a professional balloon artist for 16 years. I started when my brother was putting himself through college as a street performer,” said Farmer Jill, who declined to reveal her given name. “He was juggling in downtown Omaha and he would do a few balloons to draw a crowd. He started doing private parties and he began the Balloon Brigade and I jumped aboard.
“At first I thought he was a nerd, but quickly decided it was pretty cool. He told me to learn dog, sword, flower, hat and you will be good to go. I was instantly hooked. I like the challenge and loved the idea of starting with nothing and ending up with something.
“It’s very rewarding. When I got here it was empty and quiet. I must have chaos instantly. I thrive in chaos” said Jill. “It was hard to learn, but anything worth learning is hard.”
Farmer Jill and Farmer Phil travel throughout the United States together doing fairs and events during the summers. During winter the cousins reside in Omaha and often work separately.
Jane Esau, Gage County 4-H Coordinator, was among those impressed by the balloon creations.
“It’s unbelievable how she puts these balloons together,” Esau said.
Farmer Phil entertained youth with magic, jokes and sometimes dancing with Farmer Jill and the balloon cow.
“This is my step-ladder,” Phil said. “It’s really a very sad story. I never met my real ladder, but this is my step-ladder.”
“This is the best cow that I’ve worked with,” Jill added. “He just volunteered because his brother had worn the dress for a short bit, but he is doing great.”
The “cow” is a member of the Blue River 4-H Club and posed for a picture with other club members on Saturday at 4-H All-stars Awards.