Nearly 1,000 4-Hers exhibited more than 1,150 animals at the Minnesota 4-H state showcase.

Cancellation of the Minnesota State Fair didn’t dampen spirits around the virtual judging experiences.

The 4-Hers provided a 60-90 second drive video that was used to present animal science projects to judges who evaluated not only the quality of the animal but the showmanship skills of 4-H participants.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused Minnesota 4-H to recreate quality judging experiences and learning opportunities during the summer county fair season.

About 50 percent of Minnesota County 4-H programs were able to offer in-person judging opportunities which included a strict COVID-19 protocol, but the size and scope of an in-person statewide experience for 4-H animal enthusiasts, forced 4-H leadership to move towards quality virtual settings. 

Many 4-Hers cited the spring and summer of 2020 as a time for flexibility and patience, indicating that developing livestock videos that best presented their projects was a new opportunity for learning and growth.

Life skills such as responsibility, record keeping, overcoming adversity and communications skills were still accomplished.

The 4-H program not only produces purple ribbon animals, but more importantly it is focused on producing purple ribbon kids.

What follows are the results of the Redwood County 4-Hers who took part in the showcase:

• Champion Charolais Breeding heifer and Award of Excellence in Showmanship – Thomas Netzke of the Lamberton Leprechauns

• Reserve Champion Shorthorn breeding heifer – Jayden Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Fourth place Shorthorn breeding heifer – Ethan Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Fifth place Shorthorn market beef – Ethan Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Champion market heifer – Jayden Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Third place crossbred market beef steer – Thomas Netzke of the Lamberton Leprechauns

• Fifth place dairy holstein two year old – Emma Tammeus of the Milroy Go-Getters

• Award of Excellence in Showmanship for Poultry – Katie Bernardy of Golden Gophers

• Second place for brown egg layer in egg production – Ty Bernardy Golden Gophers

• Fourth place breeding pen of ducks – Kelly Bernardy of Golden Gophers

• Second place black face market lamb – Jackson Guggisberg of Golden Gophers

• Third place black face market lamb – Lane Guggisberg of the Golden Gophers

• Fifth place black face market lamb – Jayden Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Seventh place black face market lamb – Jayden Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Second place black face ewe lamb in the wether dam division – Ethan Carlson of the Golden Gophers

• Second place white and speckle face ewe lamb in the wether dam division – Jordan Matson Golden Gophers

• Sixth place crossbred breeding gilt – Zach Guggisberg of the Golden Gophers

The Minnesota 4-H program is funded through a partnership of federal, state, county and private resources and is part of the University of Minnesota Extension.

– Information and photo courtesy of the U of M Extension Service - Redwood County