4-H members display projects

64 qualifying exhibits advance to Colorado State Fair

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Jaelyn Whaley, 10, discusses her Creative Cooks presentation with a judge at Saturday's 4-H Exhibit Day at Soroco High School.

The 4-H motto is "Heads. Hands. Heart. Health." All four leafs of the clover were on display at the 2006 Routt County Exhibit Day at Soroco High School last weekend.

Beginning with judging at 9 a.m. and lasting through Saturday night's Fashion Revue, Routt County 4-H children and teenagers spent the day showing off exhibits that began taking shape months ago.

Nearly 140 exhibits were displayed, and 64 qualified for this year's Colorado State Fair from Aug. 16 to Sept. 4 in Pueblo.

"Each one of these kids spends 15 minutes with the judge," said Karen Massey, Colorado State University extension agent, about Saturday's process. "During that time, you are being interviewed. It's this real growth project of teaching them and evaluating them. Each participant set goals for themselves. The older kids set as many as three goals. They are evaluating themselves. It's a whole educational project."

Students were divided into three categories Saturday: junior, intermediate and senior. Those in the junior division are 8 to 10 years old. Those in the intermediate division are 11 to 13, and those in the senior division are 14 to 18.

On Saturday, all of the county's 4-H clubs came together for an exhibit day, and Massey was impressed with the quality work and the wide variety of exhibits.

"These kids put together some amazing projects," she said.

Some projects displayed showed off model rockets, insects, cake decorations and the ever-popular clothes design.

More than 200 people attended Saturday night's Fashion Revue and awards ceremony. More than 50 girls modeled their clothes and projects, including Grand Champion Cortni Denning and Reserve Grand Champion Margot Binetti.

Both qualified for the state fair.

Massey said the time between Saturday's Exhibit Day and check-in day in Pueblo is difficult for area youths.

"They have to get all their projects done early enough to submit them to the state fair, and then they have to make it again right before the state fair," Massey said. "Monday, everyone has to redo those fragile projects."

An added challenge is carting fragile items such as elaborately decorated cakes from Routt County to Pueblo, where the exhibits will be on display for three weeks.

"The state fair has certain requirements," Massey said. "We are only sending those that meet the requirements, which are pretty strict."

One of the main components of a quality project is in the paperwork. Records of what was spent, what was made and the number of hours spent on the project need to be displayed.

The projects bound for the state fair will not be on display at the Routt County Fair from Aug. 11 to Aug. 20 in Hayden. At least ,not in full form.

"We take a picture of all of our state fair winners and have them on display," Massey said. "Those that didn't (qualify for the) state fair may very well (be on display) in the county fair."

The 4-H Exhibit Day did not include livestock, which is a main component of the county fair. The livestock shows are where many area youths sell their animals.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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