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Area youth shine at state fair

Minnesota 4-H youth members from 87 counties exhibited more than 2,800 non-livestock projects and 2,476 animal science projects at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. These included 40 youth from East Otter Tail County, who brought home numerous awards and recognitions.

Projects exhibited at the State Fair’s 4-H building spanned a wide range of topic areas this year, such as robotics, alternative energy, aerospace, photography, performing arts, clothing, small engines, geology, flower gardening, landscaping, wildlife biology, fine arts and much more.

Animal science areas included beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry and llamas.

East Otter Tail’s 4-H livestock exhibitors spent August 22-25 at the State Fair, caring for, grooming and showing their animal science projects as well as participating in livestock showmanship, interviews, poster contests and other educational opportunities.

The non-livestock State Fair exhibitor’s encampment was held August 27-29.

Youth who represented East Otter Tail County at the State Fair this year were: Clayton Anderson (Ind. Demonstration) placing red, Kelsi Anderson (Rabbit) placing  purple, Lauren Anderson (Foods and Nutrition), Maren Anderson (Performing Arts) placing blue, Matthew Arens (Food Review) placing blue, Megan Arens (Water/Wetlands) placing red, Megan Badinger (Rabbit/Rabbit Judging) placing blue, Leah Bauck (Sheep) placing champion yearling ewe, Ellen Dauphinais (Swine) placing blue, Summer Dobratz (Ducks) placing blue and (Pet Poster) placing purple, Megan Dow (Rabbit) placing blue, Emily Gallmeier (Safety) placing blue, Kyndall Haman (Fashion Revue) placing participation, Brooke Hendrickx (Sheep) placing red, Dylon Holtti (Shop) placing blue, Lacy Jacobson (Ducks) placing reserve champion bantam breeding, Kayla Jahnke (Quilting) placing white, Dustin Lehmann (Dairy) placing red, Lindsey Loerzel (Beef) placing blue and (Beef Showmanship) placing participation, Shawna Loerzel (Beef) placing purple and (Beef Showmanship) placing participation, Dakota McClendon (Swine) placing blue, Katherine Melchior (Shop) placing blue, Logan Milligan (Beef) placing reserve champion Hereford Steer, Zachary Milligan (Beef) placing blue, Brandon Monson (Chickens) placing blue, Caleb Monson (Turkeys) placing blue, Mariah Novak (Fine Arts) placing blue, Madison Olson (Photography) placing blue and (Swine) placing blue, Lauren Oseien (Rabbit) placing champion Netherland Dwarf, Mary Riestenberg (Quilting) placing blue, Grace Ruckheim (Dairy) placing red, Hanna Ruckheim (Beef) placing red, Jonathan Schwartz (Dairy) placing red, Veronica Schwartz (Dairy) placing red, Heidi Weber (Quilting) placing blue, Hailey Wegscheid (Food Preservation) placing blue, Jenna Wegscheid (Self-Determined) placing blue, Heather Weller (Rabbit) placing purple and (Rabbit Judging) placing participation and (Rabbit Demonstration) placing blue and (Rabbit Interview) placing finalist and (Illus. Presentation) placing blue and (Purchased Garment Booklet) placing blue, Elizabeth Wippler (Dairy) placing purple, and Katherine Wippler (Dairy) placing red.

Education is integral in the “learn by doing” philosophy of 4-H. The projects and animals shown at fairs during the summer always get a lot of attention, but 4-H is about developing “purple ribbon kids” throughout the year.

4-H project work is intended to be the tool with which youth engage, resulting in the development of their creativity, courage and confidence, and thus equipping them to become effective leaders.  

Participation in 4-H provides all members with challenging experiences and life skills such as communicating, problem solving, decision making, perseverance and learning how to be a self-reflector.