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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Youth fair teaches life lessons

Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011, at 3:24 PM

Each year, hundreds of Vernon County youth take part in the Vernon County Youth Fair, and each year, I'm soooo impressed with all they've learned and all they've done to prepare.

Some of them are taking their first stab at preparing for the shows, whether they're entered in non-livestock categories or one of the livestock shows; others are fair veterans who've exhibited for years. They've learned how to prepare their entries, what to do in the shows, where our food comes from and how it gets to the table. They learn how to care for animals and how to express themselves in new ways.

They think they're learning how to win, and they are. But not everyone wins; and those who don't bring home the grand champion ribbon are learning perhaps the most important lesson of all. They are learning how to fail -- that true success is learning from one's disappointments and that they are winners anyway because of all they have had the unique opportunity to learn along the way. They learn, over the course of the year, how to identify what's good about their entries even when they can see the flaws. And they learn through experiences how to look for ways to improve what they've done to have a better project next year. They learn how to form long-term goals -- many of them are planning next year's entry even before this year's results are in. Through the fair, Vernon County youth practice basic values like how to be courteous, how to win graciously and the rewards of doing something that benefits their community.

To all fair participants, and everyone who helped along the way, thank you. Each of you makes the whole community proud.

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Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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