The County Fair Learning Experience

The fair is a part of the learning process for youth as they complete their 4-H year.  It is more than just exhibiting something at the fair.  For the younger youth it is gaining confidence and self-esteem and good communication skills when he or she sits down for face to face judging for the first time to share what they learned in the project and what they made for the county fair entry.  As the youth grow older they might gain skills such as cooperation, teamwork, responsibility and commitment with taking an animal to the fair.  For example, in the Dairy project, the youth learns how to pick out an animal, spends hours training the animal how to walk for show day, and works as a team to put up a barn display and takes turns caring for the animals during the week.  During face to face judging a popular question youth are asked is, “What would you do differently if you would do this again?”  Many of the youth problem solved during the process of their project or think about what was maybe difficult and can use critical thinking skills to find a better or more efficient way. Our Teen Leaders serve as managers each day in the food stand where they practice communication and leadership to guide the work crew throughout the day.  The county fair learning process doesn’t have to end at 19 when the 4-H youth graduate, but we hope to build our next generation of adult leaders and volunteers!

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