Stutsman County 4-H gears up for fair

·6 min read

Jun. 23—JAMESTOWN — This may be Brenda Jarski-Weber's first year as the 4-H program coordinator for NDSU Extension-Stutsman County, but she's no stranger to the activities.

"My kids have been in 4-H for eight years," she said. "I would volunteer with the club (they were members of), I would go to volunteer trainings, I would chaperone for leadership awareness weekends.

"I just really liked working with the kids," she said. "I like the program and so when this job opened up it was like, 'perfect.'"

There are 212 registered members of 4-H in Stutsman County, Jarski-Weber said, and many are expected to be at the Stutsman County Fair, which runs June 29-July 2.

"We have currently 145 exhibitors and that's with the static competitions and the livestock competitions," she said.

Jarski-Weber said a few things would look a bit different this year, with a planned display in the south end of the Russ Melland Building to celebrate 100 years of 4-H in Stutsman County. People who have pictures, projects, banners or other items to include in the display may bring them to the Extension office, she said. Old photos can be scanned so people don't have to worry about using their originals.

"We just hope people will bring up some memorabilia so we can take a look back on a hundred years," she said.

They usually have 4-H club booths in the Russ Melland Building, but this year the items will be arranged by project area, using the center for some of the larger projects.

"And of course this year there will not be a poultry show because of the HPAI (high pathogenic avian influenza), but we are going to have an exhibit set up," Jarski-Weber said.

In early June, the North Dakota Board of Animal Health extended the cancellation of all shows, public sales, swaps and exhibitions of poultry and other birds within the state as a precaution to reduce the risk of avian influenza exposure to North Dakota birds.

Jarski-Weber said a planned poultry exhibit will include educational information and photos of the 4-H'ers with their poultry so people can see what they would have exhibited if possible. Last year, there were 25 exhibitors with about 100 birds, she said.

"There's something going on every day with the livestock," Jarski-Weber said.

Other highlights include the Round Robin Showmanship Competition and the Parade of Champions on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Christina Rittenbach, Extension agent for NDSU Extension-Stutsman County, said the Round Robin Showmanship Competition is a contest of showmanship for the different species at the fair.

"It's kind of a big deal. It's like the big contest," she said.

The 4-H'ers with a first place or potentially a second place finish in beef, dairy, goat, sheep and swine in the junior and senior divisions compete. A 4-H'er who took second place in a show could compete in the event if another 4-H'er had more than one first place finish, Rittenbach said. That's because the 4-H'er with more than one first place award would have to choose which species to begin the competition with.

Grand and reserve champion awards are given in each division. The junior division is for ages 8-12 and the senior division is for ages 13-18.

During the Round Robin Showmanship Competition in the livestock arena, five species are in the show arena and each of the competitors will show each species for 3 minutes, starting with the animal they placed with, Rittenbach said.

"They need to show (in this event) that they are able to show an animal even if it's not the animal they are used to showing," Rittenbach said.

For the Parade of Champions, 4-H'ers with static and livestock exhibits who won a grand and reserve champion award are recognized.

Jarski-Weber encourages people to come to the fair and see how well the 4-H'ers care for their animals.

"They're out there, all day, every day. Making sure that the animals are comfortable, that they have water," she said.

Dr. Dawn Entziminger, a veterinarian, also checks on the animals each day.

Jarski-Weber said the volunteers "are what make the program go" and the community is "very supportive" of 4-H.

"Getting sponsorships, having different businesses come out and support the kids has not been a problem, and so we do appreciate the community support," she said.

She noted 4-H is for kids in the city or rural areas. There are many program areas for a variety of interests, including shooting sports (archery, air rifle) and virtual 4-H fishing tournaments, which are popular, she said. There are eight project areas featuring horticulture to citizenship, arts and crafts and others. There are also county contests, she noted.

"There's so much more than just the livestock aspect of it," Jarski-Weber said.

In 4-H, the Cloverbuds are participants from ages 5-7 and members are ages 8-18. For more information on programs, contact the Extension office at 252-9030.

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June 27: 1-5 p.m., animal check-in; 1-5 p.m., static judging; 5:30 p.m., Award of Excellence; 6:15 p.m., best of Show and Award of Excellence awards

June 28: 8-8:30 a.m., horse check-in; 8:30-8:45 a.m., horse exhibitor meeting; 9 a.m., Horse Show; 10 a.m., animal stalling begins; 5:45 p.m., dog check-in; 6 p.m., Dog Showmanship; 7 p.m., tie-out time

June 29: 8-10 a.m., animal check-in; 10-11:30 a.m., market livestock weigh-in; 11:30 a.m.-noon, livestock exhibitor meeting; 3 p.m., Rabbit Show; 6 p.m. (or 30 minutes after Rabbit Show), Alpaca/Llama Show; 7 p.m., tie-out time

June 30: 8 a.m., Swine Show; 1 p.m. (or 30 minutes after Swine Show), Sheep Show; 5 p.m. (or 15 minutes after Sheep Show), Goat Show; 7 p.m., tie-out time

July 1: 8 a.m., Dairy Show; 9 a.m. (or 30 minutes after Dairy Show), Beef Show; 30 minutes after Beef Show, Livestock Committee meeting; 5 p.m., meet and greet premium buyers; 5:30 p.m., beef breeding presentation; 6 p.m., market livestock premium sale; 8 p.m., tie-out time

July 2: 10 a.m., Round Robin Showmanship Competition; 4 p.m., Parade of Champions; 8 p.m., release of animals; 8:30-9:30 p.m., release of static exhibits