KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo County youth didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic slow down their opportunity to demonstrate the skill, mastery and hard work they put into this year’s 4-H projects. These outstanding 4-H’ers took part in the first-ever Michigan State Fair 4-H & Youth Virtual Showcase, hosted by the Michigan State Fair and Michigan State University Extension. This virtual platform allowed youth ages 5-19 to exhibit their work in all project areas alongside peers from across the state.
“Michigan 4-H’ers and other youth work hard all year long on their many projects, and that didn’t stop when the pandemic hit,” said Jake DeDecker, state 4-H leader with MSU Extension. “In fact, many youth took that extra time and poured their efforts into projects and activities. By partnering with the Michigan State Fair, we were able to provide youth with a new and exciting way to showcase what they’ve worked on while receiving recognition for their accomplishments and obtaining valuable feedback for their personal development.”
To participate, youth entered photos and videos of their individual projects through the online FairEntry platform. There were a wide variety of participation options, including traditional classes like showmanship, breeding and market classes for livestock and companion animals, and still exhibits such as crafts, creative writing and baking. Youth were also able to enter projects that are not always showcased in a typical fair, including educational projects and demonstrations in areas such as shooting sports, urban agriculture and leadership, among others.
In total, more than 400 youth from 63 Michigan counties entered more than 2,000 projects in the inaugural event. Evaluation began on August 24 with youth receiving an A, B or C rating, as determined by project standards.
Congratulations to the following Kalamazoo County youth for their exhibition in the following areas:
- Brianna Stockwell, of Dowagiac
- 1st Place, January Sow Pig
- 1st Place, February Sow Pig
- 1st Place, March Sow Pig
- 2nd Place, Commercial February Sow Pig
- 2 Blue Ribbons, Barrow Market Swine
- 1st Place/Grand Champion/Supreme Champion, Yorkshire March Boar Pig
- 1st Place, Yorkshire February Sow Pig
- 1st Place/Grand Champion, Yorkshire March Sow Pig
- 6th Place, Swine Showmanship,,16-19 years of age
- 2nd Place, Breeding Chickens Bantam Feather Leg Cock
- 1st Place/ Reserve Best of Breed, Breeding Chickens Standard Asiatic Cockerel
- 1st Place/ Best of Breed, Breeding Chickens Standard Asiatic Pullet
- 2nd Place, Poultry and Bantam Duck Youth Showmanship, 16-20 yrs. old
- Chase Johnson, of Edwardsburg.
- Blue Ribbon, Market Beef.
- Blue Ribbon, Youth Any Meat Breed Sheep, Ewe Lamb.
- 1st Place, Youth Sheep Showmanship, 8-11 yr. olds.
- 3rd Place, Youth Goat Showmanship, 8-11 yr. olds.
- 2nd Place, Full Blood Faint-Boer Doe.
- White Ribbon,, Educational Exhibit-Record Book, ages 8-12.
- Joshua Bolhuis, of Climax
- Red Ribbon, Youth educational Exhibit-Record Book, ages 13-19.
- 2nd Place, Market Fowl Roaster.
- 1st Place, Market Fowl Broiler.
- Lexus Watson, of Edwardsburg.
- Two 1st and Two 2nd place, for Senior Yearling Heifer Reserve Grand Champion.
- Blue Ribbon, Youth Market Beef.
- 5th Place, Youth Beef Showmanship, 16-19 yr. olds.
- Blue Ribbon, Youth Sheep Showmanship.
- Blue Ribbon, Youth Market Goat.
- Blue Ribbon, Youth Goat Showmanship.
- 2 Blue Ribbons, Youth Full Blood Faint-Boer Doe, Not in Milk.
- 1st place, Full Blood Faint-Boer Doe.
- Red Ribbon, Youth Educational Exhibit-Record Book, Age 13-19.
- Mia Rummel, of Kalamazoo.
- 2nd Place, Youth Leadership Demonstration, age 8-12.
- Tomiris Sagin, of Kalamazoo.
- 2 White Ribbons, Educational Exhibit-Record Book, Age 8-12
In addition to the opportunity to showcase their skills and receive accolades for their hard work, participants in the statewide event will also had the opportunity to apply for up to $50,000 in scholarships, generously provided by the Michigan State Fair and in partnership with the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Kalamazoo County’s Brianna Stockwell was the recipient of a Livestock Scholarship for her swine exhibit.
“A major focus within our event has always been giving back to the community and encouraging the educational and personal development of Michigan’s youth,” said Blair Bowman, Michigan State Fair manager. “We are thrilled that we are able to continue and expand upon that tradition through this new virtual platform.”
To view additional placings for the 2020 Michigan State Fair 4-H & Youth Virtual Showcase, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/.
— Michigan State University Extension
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