Redwood County 4-H well represented at the Minnesota State Fair 4-H Showcase Events

Courtesy of U of M Extension, Redwood County
Special to the Gazette

It was a great fair season for Redwood County 4-H members! From livestock to the general projects, they spend a lot of time getting projects ready for their showcase events and the Minnesota State Fair was no exception.

The opportunity to participate in the Minnesota State Fair is earned through our showcase events held at the Redwood County Fair where we had 174 4-H exhibitors bring projects to our summer showcase event. This year Redwood County 4-H sent 45 youth to compete at the Minnesota State Fair 4-H Showcase Events. And, we will have more youth participating in State Shoot, State Dog, and State Horse Shows.

The State Fair showcase event has more behind the scenes than one might think. Livestock shows and programs rely on teamwork, each 4-H member helping the other to prepare for their showcase events. Time management is a key element in project and exhibit completion as youth manage showcase preparation, sharing of tools, knowledge and supplies, as well as managing schedule changes and showcase callbacks. Communication skills are a crucial part of our showcase events. Youth must complete an interview with their judge, master both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Part of their interview reinforces the skills learned by creating their exhibit. Youth are asked questions to explain their learning and the learning curve they experienced while completing their project area.

Morgan Kodet of the Valley Blazers 4-H Club earned a purple ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair with her Wether Dam - Black Face Ewe Lamb.
Ashtyn Altmann of the Valley Blazers 4-H Club earned a purple ribbon at the State Fair for her Wether Dam - White and Speckle Face Ewe Lamb.

This summer we experienced connections, networking, interviews, team work, and friendly competition during our county fair experiences all of which were enhanced during the Minnesota State Fair experience. Youth who participate in showcase events have a great opportunity to build connections with other youth from around the state, connect with judges, and make connections with those who are truly experts in their field. The experiential learning for our 4-H youth is well beyond the ribbons and awards, it is truly priceless!

This year, as a county group, Redwood County 4-H members saw great success. We had four youth from across Redwood County earn their way into the Minnesota State Fair Auction, two youth earned additional scholarships, and several received purple ribbons earning top placement in their class. We also had several new to the Minnesota State Fair complete competitive judging experiences for the first time. Congratulations to all for a job very well done!

Thank you to all who help create a welcoming and educational environment for our 4-H members. Thank you to those who offered monetary support to provide livestock and human transportation for our 4-H youth to attend the Minnesota State Fair. 4-H relies on all of you to make our programs happen!

Congratulations to Redwood County 4-H for yet another successful Minnesota State Fair Experience—but wait—there is more. Still to come are the Minnesota 4-H State Shoot Competition, Minnesota 4-H Dog Show, and the Minnesota 4-H Horse Show. Good luck to those competing throughout the month of September.

If you are interested in joining 4-H or have any questions about 4-H please contact our office at (507) 637-4025 or email Stacy Johnson at skjohnso@umn.edu.