As a recent county fair-goer, you've likely seen all the ribbons blue, purple, red, yellow, white...but what do they all mean. First, in 4H, these participants didn't just bring their poster or animal into the ring, they have worked ALL year on their project. They are at the fairgrounds before the public setting up and presenting all they have learned to judges. They need to have leadership skills, presentation skills and demonstrate learned knowledge in their project area as well as maintain records. For animals this means everything from the costs, caretaking records, handling records, etc. It is a LOT of work.
While at the fair with an animal, the kids are there the whole time... as in many sleep there or are minimally there from dawn to dusk to ensure the safety and well being of the animals. The majority of fairs take place during the hottest weeks of the summer. Putting these kids to the test. Living at the fairgrounds as an exhibitor is a part of the experience that creates memories that will be carried throughout a lifetime. It does not, however, come without trial. When temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, trying to keep animals clean, fed and finding time themselves to escape the high levels of heat can be a challenge.
The pinneacle event is the State Fair.... memories of family in in the 4-H member area, ...home cooked meals ... kids practicing ... families helping... etc. So if you visit the State Fair, be sure to give 'good job' shout out to the fair kids in between bites of something fried on a stick! And when these kids beam at the camera with their ribbons, it's not the ribbon they are happy about. It is the immense pride one derives from hard work and learning!