It is the first full week in July and this week the Vernon County Youth Fair is being held, which is rather early for this important event.
The youth fair provides many great experiences for the participants. It is something that many will remember for a life time. It offers many learning opportunities and it provides fun for the young people. The weekend edition of this paper contained a youth fair special which included information for the fair and provided the schedule for the events.
Many in Vernon County take pride in the fair with the quality of exhibits and more important the quality of the exhibitors. Exhibiting at the fair doesn't just happen; instead it takes a great amount of preparation with many working with their exhibits soon after last year's fair.
Pride can also be taken in the quality of leadership the fair has. During the week there are a sizeable number of volunteers helping out in a variety of ways. The fair board has worked hard and has put forth much effort in planning for the fair and this week conducting the annual event. They have recently held two fund-raising events that required a great amount of work on their part, the annual rodeo and a tractorpulling contest.
Important to the fair is the support that the fair receives from a large number of individuals and organizations. The exhibitors take pride in exhibiting their projects; thus it is important to them and the success of the fair to have a large number of people to go to the fair to view the exhibits.
This week, I visited with Reba Hurst, the Vernon County 4-H Council president, about her exhibits and her career in 4-H and in FFA. Reba is a daughter of Brad and Cheri Hurst, and is a member of the newly established Show-me 4-H Club where she is club treasurer. This is the 10th year of her 4-H membership.
Other offices she has held in the 4-H council includes recreation leader for two years, reporter, assistant secretary and secretary. The senior at Nevada High School served as second vice president this past year in the FFA Chapter and is now serving as historian. In FFA she has a beef herd as a project with 25 or 30 cattle in the production project.
Reba is looking forward to exhibiting at the youth fair this year as she has missed the last two years as result of exhibiting at the National Junior Hereford Association show, held in Louisville and Denver. This year the national show will be held in Kansas City next week. She is serving on the committee. Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas are hosting the show. She has exhibited in several shows during her career with highly successful results. Her exhibiting with cattle began when she was 5 years of age.
At the youth fair she will be exhibiting a 4-H beef steer and a cow and calf pair. She will be taking these exhibits on to the National Junior Hereford show next week and to the state fair. Her cow and calf pair will be exhibited at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield. She will be riding with the Vernon County Drill Team on Thursday night during the Little Britches Rodeo. She will also be helping with her little brother at the fair. She has had members from the Fairgrounds 4-H out demonstrating to them the showing and the caring for the beef projects. She plans for one of the members from Fairgrounds 4-H to use her cow-calf pair in the Little Clover pet show.
Part of getting ready for the fair has been in helping to get the fairgrounds ready for the fair. Among the things that Reba has been doing is painting the poles for the pop shop and cleaning the facilities. She said that special work has been done on the horse barn this year, removing the old wooden stalls and installing new panels -- it is looking nice. She said that there have been a lot of improvements over several years with the sheep and horse barn providing a good appearance.
In preparation for exhibit, she said the cattle have been in the barn under fans and rinsed everyday since the end of school. They have been in the barn since they were weaned.
The reason she still remains in 4-H and is exhibiting in 4-H is that it has been a big part of her life. She describes it as "A good opportunity, good experience; hope everybody likes it as well as I do. I have had a blast in 4-H." While Reba has exhibited in many places, she especially likes exhibiting locally. She takes pride in being here in the hometown, sharing with friends and classmates with local people watching.
Showing at the local shows allows the local people to get to know you. She considers it to be special when someone walks up to her parents and says, "Hey, you are Reba's parents." The fair is now in full swing. Reba is one example of the exhibitors at the youth fair. As she has expressed, it is meaningful to the exhibitors to have people to observe their exhibits. This is an important event of the year for youth. Your attendance expresses your support of the youth.
See you at the fair.