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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Memories made at the fair are priceless

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Vernon County Youth Fair has now become history. Fair board members have expressed that the fair was a good one and successful. The weather cooperated and there were good crowds. It certainly was highly successful and an event that is good for the youth and all who are involved. An event of this type is successful as result of a large number of people having input into the occasion. It is a tradition that started in 1946 as a 4-H and FFA show and it remains strong.

Each, of the exhibitors, was presented a T-shirt. This is a good practice as all over the fairgrounds the exhibitors are wearing their youth fair T-shirt. They had impressive designs. Especially meaningful to those familiar with the youth fair was the design on the back: Food during the fair $; Supplies/Feed $$; Project $$$; Gas to/from the fair $$$$; Memories made at the fair Priceless. The front of the shirt recognized the youth organizations involved in the fair.

Donna Shorten says that the members were asked to make suggestions for the shirts and then the fair board made the selection from the designs submitted. Kaylee Farmer, Country Clovers 4-H design was selected for the back of the T-shirt. She also designed the printing on one sleeve which said "Exhibitor."

The front of the T-shirt was designed by Taylor Robertson of Schell City 4-H.

I can identify with the fact that memories made at the fair are priceless from the experiences that I had in exhibiting during my youth -- and that has been a year or two. It was because of those experiences that I had a great amount of interest in fairs and was dedicated in working with the fairs during my extension career. The memories of being involved with those fairs are also priceless.

The July meeting of the chamber of commerce was held Friday in the diner during the youth fair. Precious memories were shared by the speakers of their fair experiences and being involved in the youth programs. It was good to hear it from them as I have told you many times that 4-H provides many benefits to the members -- and also to the adults involved with the movement. It was better to hear it from them.

Kathi Wysong, chamber director, said that great information was shared on the immediate and long-term value received from the 4-H program.

Cindy Johnson, chamber membership service coordinator, was the moderator for the program. She included some of the meaningful experiences that the youth fair has meant for her family.

Lori Dahmer Copeland's family was involved with the youth fair from the beginning when it was a 4-H and FFA show, helping to organize the annual event. She related to what exhibiting at the fair and being involved with the 4-H program meant to her as an exhibitor. She also related about some of her experiences, including that she did not like to sew as a result of being in the clothing project, and fun she had as an exhibitor.

Cindy Thompson was not involved with 4-H when she grew up, into a family that had been involved in 4-H and the youth fair. After Bob and her moved to Vernon County, she became involved with 4-H as a parent and related that the experiences were of great benefit to their family and how they helped with the fairgrounds 4-H.

Jim Tedlock, a former FFA member of the Jamesport, Mo., chapter, gave information about his experiences in the FFA program and how that has helped him in life. He is an engineer at 3M. During his presentation he showed his FFA jacket that he wore in high school. He related that many of the things taught in FFA are the same things that they are now learning, but with different titles. He served as president of his chapter and was a State Farmer. He was involved with such things as parliamentary procedure team and dairy products judging.

Angie Habjan Madigan shared her experiences of being involved in 4-H and exhibiting at the youth fair and how much that meant in her life.

Working at the 4-H National Center was among her experiences in 4-H. She is glad that she is now living close enough that she could come back for the youth fair.

One of the speakers commented that what you see at the youth fair is only a small portion of what is involved in 4-H.

Phyllis Wood was the first queen for the youth fair which was in 1961. Shortly after the chamber luncheon, I saw Phyllis in the home economics building. This rather tied in with the program that had been presented.

One of the things that has contributed to the success of the fair is the amazing facilities.

Each year improvements are made with the facilities. This year, there was a focus on improving the horse barn. The new pens are tremendous.

One of the improvements planned to take place before the next fair is to renovate the bathrooms in the home economics building.

This will include removing the hall, making the bathrooms larger and handicap accessible. On My Own and Crain will provide the fixtures, sinks and stools. Volunteers and donations are needed to complete this special renovation.

Joann Cash has taken the lead on this project, because "it needs to be done." She is getting support for the project from the fair bpard, county commissioners and others.

For additional information on the bathroom or ways you can help with renovations, contact Joann at (417) 667-2274 or any fair board member.

Leonard Ernsbarger
Leonard At Large