SEDALIA, Mo. — The Missouri State Fair offers an opportunity for members to exhibit their skills in the 4-H Building, their showmanship in the livestock arenas and their character through demonstrations. For many, this is a culminating experience that affects them beyond just the premium and ribbon.
Missouri State Fair visitors experienced firsthand the foundations of the 4-H program by browsing aisles of exhibits, cheering on youths in the show ring and participating in activities showcasing the 4-H project areas.
This year, the 4-H Building showcased 127 youth demonstrations and 3,204 exhibits, 53 of which received a Best of Show award. Daily activities let visitors engage with 4-H professionals and briefly experience the projects offered by 4-H. Highlights included a 4-H Feeding Missouri food packing event, in which members packed 4,875 meals, and 4-H Zoo Apprentice Day, which that gave fairgoers a chance to learn more about zoo animals.
More than 1,100 Missouri 4-H exhibitors took to the show rings with a total of 3,080 livestock entries, and 170 youths entered 1,061 horses during the State Fair 4-H/FFA Horse Show that took place prior to the fair, July 29-Aug. 1.
“4-H livestock entries for the 2021 Missouri State Fair were up across the board for all species,” said Ty Peckman, state 4-H agriculture specialist and Missouri State Fair 4-H livestock superintendent. “We welcomed many first-time exhibitors and their families throughout the barns and show rings.”
To celebrate Missouri’s bicentennial, Missouri 4-H placed updated county banners above the exhibits. Banners were originally hung in the 4-H Building in the 1970s and were last updated in 2002. The Missouri 4-H Bicentennial Quilt, created with blocks sent in by 4-H’ers from across the state, was also displayed in the building.
More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information on Missouri 4-H, visit 4h.missouri.edu(opens in new window).
— Maria Calvert, University of Missouri Extension
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