4H Fair coming soon

Andy Christiansen

Head, Heart, Hands and Health are the cornerstones behind the worldwide 4-H youth development program.

More than 6 million youth, ages 8-18, learn life skills through the program, and are exposed to a sense of what it means to be part of a community.

This month, the Woodford County 4-H program is celebrating 90 years of promoting youth development and community awareness.

“The 4-H fair is kind of the culminating event of the year,” said Cathy Blunier, 4-H youth development educator for Woodford County.

Blunier said the fair offers youth an opportunity to display the projects that they have been working on all year.

The projects range anywhere from raising livestock to creating a computer science presentation, and this year there will be 2,500 projects being displayed by the 467 4-H members of Woodford County.

The large number of entries requires months of preparation.

“I started planning in December,” Blunier said. “May up until the day of the fair is the busiest time for us.”

Blunier said the winter months are spent reserving space and equipment for the fair, as well as booking livestock judges and updating the rule book.

The tedious administrative work begins in June, when the kids start filling out applications for their project.

“Once those come into our office, then it’s really crunch time,” Blunier said.

Blunier and other members of her team have to file all of the entries into the fair’s data base, create exhibit tags, formulate a schedule for 2,500 projects and finally, gather volunteers to help with the fair.

“We’re pretty lucky here, as far as being able to get volunteers,” Blunier said.

The fair will have around 85 volunteers who will help judge the projects and help maintain the fair grounds and progression of events.

“We have a list of about 200 other volunteer tasks that need to be done at the fair,” Blunier said.

The tasks are diverse, but generally consist of coordinating an exhibit, office help or being a judge’s assistant.

The production of the fair is primarily reliant upon the 4-H program, but local community members and businesses do lend a helping hand.

“We rely on the community, organizations, businesses and families to help sponsor the trophies,” Blunier said.

“The fair will not have a carnival or any commercial exhibits. Everything there is just about the 4-H kids for the week.”