4-H Fair (Department 515)
Kali Benson, CSU Extension Agent
Description and Mission
The Elbert County Fair is an annual event sponsored by the Elbert County Fair Board and Elbert County Government, in conjunction with the Elbert County Extension Office. 4-H programs allow the county's youth to demonstrate leadership, healthy competition, sportsmanship, and general camaraderie. 4-H members are encouraged to show their projects at county fair to the community. Pre-fair specialty contests are also held to determine state fair participation for the fashion revue, cake decorating, creative cooks, performing and speech arts, rocketry, robotics, dog and shooting sports projects.
Accomplishments, Goals, and Objectives
A total of 305 of 2022's 417 active 4H members entered County fair exhibits, resulting in over 2,100 entries in general and animal categories (down from 2021's 2,300 entries). Several families were new or overextended with their time, and elected not to enter general projects at the fair. Members entered 68 general projects at the Colorado State Fair and 16 Champions, 9 Reserve Champions, 12 Reserve Grand Champions, and 4 Grand Champions. 8 members entered market animals. One of those made the Junior Livestock Sale, Maddie White, and this was her very first year in 4-H. McCray Lown represented Elbert County 4-H and Fair at the Colorado State Fair Junior Master Showman Contest. 80 members participated in State Shoots, held in person again for the first time since 2019. Members competed in State Specialty contests, earning distinctions in Fashion Revue, Rocket Fly Day (Grand Champion Junior and Seniors), Creative Cooks (Grand Champion) dog trials, and the state horse show.
Goals and Objectives 2023
Goals for 2023 include continuing to share judges with other counties to share expenses and leverage the knowledge of judges from other areas. This was more difficult in 2022 as the economic uncertainty led to increased judges fees and travel expenses. 2022’s goal of helping new families feel more confident in participating in county fair was both a success and a failure: Several families realized they simply did not have the time to complete a project or enter it into the county fair. This was disappointing, as we had fewer projects entered, but also successful as families were better able to evaluate their time, finances and stress levels and made decisions that were best for them. Several families that did not enter the fair still came to support others and engage in the community fellowship that the fair brings. Goals for 2023 will stay the same as 2022: help new families feel more confident about participating in county fair and measuring their own success, as well as being good stewards of the dollars in the judges’ line item.