Fair planning already in works

Posted 4/9/10

Sheila G. Kelley The Elbert County fair will be July 31 to Aug. 8. Seems like quite a ways off, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s only 114 days until …

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Fair planning already in works


Sheila G. Kelley

The Elbert County fair will be July 31 to Aug. 8. Seems like quite a ways off, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s only 114 days until fair time. What does it take to get 4-H ready for the fair?

Every county office is different in when they start getting ready for their upcoming fair. Here in Elbert County, we’ve been busy for the past couple of months already preparing for the 2009-2010 fair.

Judges, weigh-ins, awards, buckles, notebooks and lots of copying have been going on in the offices in preparation for the big week. We have to secure 56 judges each year — 19 for animal projects; 26 for general projects and 11 for open class competition. Most of these qualified individuals are from here in Colorado but some do come from out of state.

Another big effort in preparing for competitions are the champion, grand and reserve grand champion buckles and awards. For many of the grand and reserve grand champion animal projects, individualized, engraved belt buckles are awarded. These are funded by local people donating to sponsor over 90 belt buckles. Many thanks go to those sponsors, especially in the economic climate today.

The Elbert County Youth Council determines what the award will be for the champions for the general projects and animal showmanship contests. Last year an embroidered sweatshirt was awarded. Other items have included a camp chair, engraved silver photo album, tote bag and more. Again, these awards are sponsored by community people wishing to support the 4-H program. Thank you to the 110 sponsors for these also.

In an animal project, members develop a feeding and management plan to determine the rate of gain of their animal throughout the length of the project. To help them get started, we have an initial spring weigh-in where all the animals in the project are weighed on the same annually certified scale for consistency purposes. This weight allows the member to plan their feeding plan to reach a desired final weight. The beef weigh-in was held last month with the swine, sheep and turkey banding scheduled for mid-June.

We were very fortunate to receive a sizeable donation of new three-ring binders from the Raytheon company located in Denver. These books will allow us to set up a new record keeping system for our fair entries for each project. Thank you to them for their continued support of the 4-H program.

We’re gearing up for the fair. Remember, it’s only a few months away. If you would like to volunteer at the fair or at either Extension Office prior to the fair, please contact either Elbert County Extension office at 303-621-3162 or 719-541-2361. 4-H is a cooperative effort between CSU Extension and Elbert County.


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