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Numbers low, but 'quality' high at 4-H fair

July 25, 2012
The Crawford County 4-H Fair, held July 7 through 15 at the 4-H Community Park south of Marengo, may have been short on numbers, but it was tall on talent, according to one of the county's new Extension Service educators.

"What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality," said Carol Judd, who became the Health and Human Services/4-H Youth Development educator at the beginning of the month. "They were well-made and showcased the kids' talents. We had very, very excellent projects. They will represent our county well. I'm excited to see how Crawford County compares to other counties at the state fair."

Several members of the community, including parents and grandparents, came to view the exhibits, she said, which was great to see, especially in light of the heat.

Judd was especially impressed with the Clover Buds, saying that, at other county fairs, they sometimes only get a day or so to display their projects, but, at Crawford County, their projects were on display throughout the whole week. She said she loved to see the young children excited about their ribbons and awards for their efforts.

"And that's what it's all about," she said, "to build leadership and pride in one's abilities."

Judd also was impressed with how well the fair went with the Extension office not having an educator for months, as she and Kayla Lemley, who began a week after Judd, "came in right in the middle of the fair."

"Everyone was hanging in there without educators," she said. "I'm proud of our 4-H'ers."

During the fair, Judd and Lemley had a time for 4-H'ers and their parents to meet and get to know them.

"We're excited about meeting the county and the parents," Judd said. "We made some good connections."

Judd said family is an important part of 4-H and a factor that should help to increase the numbers for next year.

"We need to get interest back," she said, "because, without the educators, they couldn't really do anything; there wasn't someone to guide them. If we can rebuild interest, we can rebuild the program, and that means more parents to go and see the projects, and that means more involvement from the community and parents. We not only want the community to be involved in 4-H, but for 4-H to be involved in the community."

Lemley, as the 4-H Youth Development/Agriculture and Natural Resources educator, was more in charge of the livestock portion of the fair.

"It was a pretty good show," she said. "The animals did pretty good in the heat, and there was a wide range of animals to exhibit. There were over 20 different varieties of chickens, and I think we had record numbers of rabbits and chickens."

During the auction, 28 kids sold their animals, which included eight beef cattle, seven pigs, four goats, 15 rabbits and 20 chickens and Tyson pens.

"Altogether, we made $21,250 by the end of the night," Lemley said, adding that it was a good year, about normal.

"We had a great show, and we hope more will come and more kids will participate next year. My personal goal would be to break $25,000 next year," she said.

All non-perishable Indiana State Fair projects are due at the Extension office at 306 Oak Hill Circle in English by noon on Friday. Perishable projects (food and gardening products) must be turned in before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The state fair will be Aug. 3 through 19 at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

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