Going for the purple: Area 4-H’ers were well represented at the state fair this year
“The Great Minnesota Get-Together,” “The Big Show” and “The Minnesota State Fair” are all names used to describe the event that lasts for 12 days and marks the end of summer for most Minnesotans. Even though all these names are describing the same thing, they bring back different memories for different people. For a majority of 4-H members the state fair brings back memories of exhibiting livestock, meeting up with friends from across the state and excitement to do it all again the next year.
4-H is a youth development program that is offered to youth in kindergarten through one year after high school, in all 87 counties in Minnesota and has something for everyone. Some of the most popular project areas include photography, beef, crafts and fine arts, dairy, food and nutrition, swine, wood and metal shop, sheep, clothing and textiles, rabbits and many more. Youths can participate in clubs, special-interest groups, after-school programs, volunteering and community service. 4-H’ers learn leadership, problem solving and communication skills, so they do better in school, college, careers and their communities.
Dakota County has one of the biggest 4-H programs in Minnesota. This year alone, Dakota County had 72 4-H’ers participating in the 2013 State Fair 4-H livestock encampment. Livestock was brought up to the state fair on Wednesday, Aug. 21, before the fair was open to the public.
The first show on Thursday, Aug. 22, was the poultry show. Thomas Robinette is a 4-H’er from the Hastings area. Robinette exhibited his pigeons and received Champion Fancy Young Bird Pigeons. At the Minnesota State Fair this year there were 265 4-H poultry exhibited, which is an increase from the 254 poultry exhibited in 2012.
After the poultry show, the breeding heifer show took place. Dakota County had three 4-H members exhibiting from the Hastings area. Beau Peine received Reserve Champion Simmental Heifer with his purebred simmental spring calf. Paige Peine, also of the Hastings area, received a blue ribbon with her commercial summer yearling. Lastly, Kaitlyn Synder received a purple ribbon on her registered limousine junior yearling.
On Friday, Aug. 23, the swine show occurred. Gabriella Sorg and Jacob Frandrup were two Dakota County 4-H’ers that showed swine at the state fair. Sorg received a blue with her crossbred barrow that she named Stanley and was an interview finalist. Interviews are mandatory and test 4-H’ers knowledge about the species that they are showing. When Sorg was asked what skill she learned through showing swine with 4-H that she values the most she said, “4-H and the swine project has given me the opportunity to meet many new people with the same interests as me and explore different parts of agriculture that may help me with career choices in the future.” Jacob Frandrup also showed a crossbred barrow, and received a blue. Besides receiving a blue, Frandrup was also an interview winner.
In addition to the swine show, the goat show was also held on Friday, Aug. 23. Dakota County had three 4-H members participating in the market goat show. Colin Terry earned a blue ribbon with his senior meat breeding doe. Steven Terry, again from the Hastings area, also received a blue when he showed his market goat. Lastly, Sara Wright showed a market goat. Wright and her goat, Bruce, received a blue ribbon. When asked what her favorite part of showing goats was Wright said, “My favorite part of showing goats is meeting new people. Every show I go to I meet someone new.”
Also shown on Friday, Aug. 23, were the market beef and dairy steers. There were eight exhibitors from the Hastings area. Luke Chamberlain showed his Angus registered steer. Ben Endres showed a shorthorn registered steer and received a blue ribbon. Blake Peine of the Hastings area showed his steer in the crossbred and other breeds class. Another Dakota County 4-Her, Peter Schweich, also showed in the market beef show with his registered hereford steer. There were also 4-H members that showed dairy steers. Abby Endres showed her crossbred dairy steer and was an interview finalist. Colton Ries showed a purebred dairy steer. Carly Ries also showed a purebred dairy steer and received a blue ribbon. When Ries was asked what skills she learned by showing livestock with 4-H that helped her in other aspects of your life she said, “I have learned the importance of hard work. When showing livestock you have to put in lots of time and effort in order to do well. I have also learned the importance of asking questions of other 4-H’ers so you can learn more.”
The Dairy show was one of two shows to take place on Saturday, Aug. 24. There was only one participant that showed from Dakota County Hastings area. Aaron Mamer showed his holstein grade winter senior yearling. Mamer took first in his class and received a purple ribbon. When asked what his favorite part about showing dairy was Mamer said, “The excitement and anticipation of knowing how well you compare against other 4-H’ers competing at the state fair. Also showing through 4-H is a great learning experience.”
Overall, Dakota County was well represented by the great 4-H members from the Hastings area. For more information on 4-H in Dakota County, visit www.extension.umn.edu/ county/dakota or contact the 4-H extension staff by calling (651) 480-7755.
This article was written by Sally Frandrup