Online Staff Report
OREGON, Ill. — Approximately 800 4-H project exhibits and 750 project animals will be showcased by Ogle County’s 407 community club 4-H members during the 2012 Ogle County Fair in Oregon, Ill., Aug. 1-5.
4-H fairs are held nationally to allow youth the opportunity to exhibit projects that have resulted from in-depth yearlong studies of areas that interest them.
As part of the exhibition, non-animal exhibitors meet one-on-one with project judges to receive feedback about their displays and gather ideas for future project expansion.
Animal judging tests 4-H members’ abilities to produce, maintain and select healthy animals with excellent breeding and market potential. Animal showmanship classes provide 4-H’ers with the opportunities to develop and refine their animal presentation skills.
At a 4-H Fair, competition exists at two levels. 4-H’ers first compete against themselves for exhibit ratings. Every exhibit — animal or non-animal — is assigned a rating of blue, red or white. Blue ratings are awarded to youth with entries that meet class guidelines and represent high-quality work. White ratings are assigned when entries do not meet class guidelines or exhibits are of low quality. Red ribbons are assigned for exhibits falling somewhere in between.
Once ratings have been assigned, all of the blue award-winners compete against one another for the chance to become class champions or overall division winners. A number of blue-awarded non-animal exhibits are also selected each year to represent Ogle County 4-H at the Illinois State Fair.
Beyond the competition and learning, the Ogle County 4-H Fair is a celebration. It marks the end of a year of youth development, club and county activities and community service, new friendships and family building.
4-H is the youth development program of University of Illinois Extension. For information, call the Ogle County Extension Office at (815) 732-2191 or visit www.web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo.
The 4-H year will begin again Sept. 1. Youth ages 5-18 by Sept. 1 can join for the coming year.
Posted Aug. 1, 2012