4-H clubs across the country encourage young people to learn by doing. Children from ages 8 to 18 are involved in 4-H, with hands-on projects that ultimately help them explore different career opportunities.
Fair season is their busiest time of year.
The Boone County Fair is a busy time for 4-H Members.
Nickole Ryan and her brothers, twins Max and J.T. are showing sheep. Max is showing his lamb, Rufus, at this year’s fair.
“He likes to bite on people’s shirts. He’ll eat kind of slow,” Max said. “He’ll start jumping around on the gate at my house when he’s excited.”
Nickole has been a 4-H member for seven years. This year, she’s showing Alfredo.
“I like, obviously, the livestock, because that’s what I like the most,” Nickole said. “I like animals and stuff. But then, I like all the leadership opportunities.”
Nickole is showing Alfredo in regular shows and showmanship. She hopes, one day, to be a farm veterinarian, so she believes that part of the competition is especially important.
“They ask you questions about, like, how you feed it, how you take care of it, what you do and don’t like about it,” she said. “And then, just, like, they judge you based on eye contact. How you interact with the judge, how you help other people throughout the shows.”
In addition to showing animals, 4-H encourages kids to complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship. They even do fundraising.”
“We have a food stand at the fair, and we have the Wee Farm. We all work at that,” J.T. said. “And, we also do different activities. We have all kinds of different fundraisers. And then, we have some fun activities to do.”
Even though it’s a lot of hard work, the Ryans all say the same thing about fair time.
“It’s my favorite week of the year!” Nickole exclaimed.
The Boone County Fair runs through Saturday, August 11th.