By Debbie Moellendorf
4-H Youth Development Educator
UW-Extension Lincoln County
During this summer, 4-Her’s have been working hard on their exhibits for the upcoming fair. This year’s Lincoln County Fair will be held at the Festival Grounds, in Merrill, on Aug. 15-19.
Exhibiting at the county fair is one of the many learning opportunities 4-Her’s have. On Wednesday, Aug. 15, 4-Her’s around the county, take time to bring their exhibits into the fair.
Wednesday at noon, judging starts with a category called face-to-face in many junior departments. Face-to-face judging allows youth to be able to talk to the judge about their project. Here youth work on their communications skills. Youth are able to get feedback on their projects right away, and how to improve their project for following years. Wednesday is also a big day for exhibitors in the Junior and Open Flowers and Houseplants. In front of grandstands on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. is the horse show. For 4-H’s youngest members Wednesday is a huge night, on the stage in the Bierman Expo building at 6:30 p.m. These youngest members are called Cloverbuds. They can enter various items into the fair, at the time of entry they sit down and talk to special older youth, called ambassadors, about their projects.
Thursday is filled with judging, starting at 9 a.m. In the barns judging starts with Junior Sheep, then Junior Swine, ending with Junior Beef. In the Lokemoen Building Junior and Open Rabbit is a bit later, starting at 1 p.m. In the Steckling and the Bierman Expo Buildings all the rest of the exhibits are being judged. This includes but isn’t limited to; Junior and Open Photography, Junior and Open Plant and Soil science, and Junior and Open Cultural Arts.
Friday is a pretty relaxing day in the Steckling and Bierman Expo Buildings, but in the Lokemoen and Barn exhibitors are busy due to the Poultry and Dairy Judging. In the Lokemoen building, Poultry judging starts at 9 a.m. with Junior Class followed by Open Class. In the barn, the Dairy Show starts at 10 a.m.
Saturday is the last judging day. The dog show starts the day off at 8 a.m., in the fenced area by the Humane Society. In the Lokemoen building Junior Small Pets and Cats are being judged at 1 p.m. In the barn, Junior and Open Goats along with Domestic Exotic Animals are being judged at 2 p.m.
On Sunday; the exhibitors finally get a day off from the judging, unless they are a part of the Communication Contest exhibit. These 4-Her’s give their presentations on the stage in the Bierman Expo Building at 2 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the Livestock Barn closes down, and animals get brought home. At 6:30 p.m. the rest of the exhibits are released and sent home. Exhibitors are sent home with a sense of accomplishment and ideas for projects for next year’s fair.
Although the exhibits are a big part of the fair experience for a 4-Her, something else that’s special happens at the fair. The older youth of 4-H help out around the fair in the 4-H Dairyland Stand, 4-H Raffle Booth, Project Place, and much more. By helping at the 4-H Dairyland Stand and the Raffle Booth, 4-Hers raise money to help pay for trips they may go on throughout the years to come. The Project Place is a tent filled with different 4-H projects. Older youth help fair goers learn and complete the various projects. Something new this year is 4-H Talk, these will be held throughout the fair in the Bierman Expo Building on the stage. Youth have the opportunity to give a small talk about their 4-H project or trip.
4-Her’s also contribute to the fair beyond what is listed above, by being committee members for project groups and as elected officers in their clubs. Members of 4-H learn skills like leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills. To see the influence of 4-H please come and view the exhibits; watch the judging, participate in the Project Place; and visit our 4-H booth at the Lincoln County Fair.
If you are interested in learning more about 4-H or want to get involved in Lincoln County 4-H, please feel free to contact Kate, Debbie, or Cherie at the UW-Extension office at 715-539-1072 or visit our website at http://lincoln.uwex.edu/ or subscribe to the Lincoln County 4-H Blog http://fyi.uwex.edu/lincolncounty4h/ for up to the minute 4-H news. Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with local, state and federal government in each Wisconsin county.