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Showing their stuff 4-H kids exhibit projects at the fair

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Charlotte Wilson, 11, Jamestown, washes her Boer meat goat on Thursday outside the 4-H barns at the Stutsman County Fair. Her brother Sam, 6, waits to help wash another goat. Tom LaVenture / The Sun 2 / 2
Fair highlights Friday, June 29

8 a.m.: Beef show, dairy show starts 30 minutes after beef show concludes. 1 p.m.” Sheep and goat show 1 p.m.: Gates, food concessions, Midway, wristband session opens 4:30 p.m.: Round robin showmanship championship competition 5:45 p.m.: Presentation of exhibited breeding animals 6 p.m.: Market livestock premium sale 6:30 p.m.: James River Rodeo performance 9 p.m.: IV Play band performs 10 p.m.: Merchants, exhibits, Home & Hobby, 4-H exhibits close 11 p.m.: Midway, wristband session closes 1 a.m.: Fair closes

For many of the 170 kids involved in 13 Stutsman County 4-H clubs the Stutsman County Fair is a time to be proud of their hard work.

Tiffany Dick, a club leader for the Countrysiders at Courtenay, said so far this week her kids set up a static display and competed with their poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, swine and llamas. The cattle will compete on Friday, she said.

“The fair gives them a moment to shine,” Dick said. “These kids work hard all year long with their animals and it’s nice to see them have a place to come and strut their stuff.”

Isabelle Schmidt, 13, Medina, showed her ham cross and speckled lambs on Thursday. She has been showing lambs for six years and this year is also showing four pigs, three cows and a breeding goat.

“I like 4-H because we can try so many different things and we get to help a lot of different people,” Isabelle said.

Brielle Sullivan, 14, Jamestown, entered two rabbits.

“I just joined 4-H in December so this is my first show,” Brielle said.

Her 8-month-old lionhead and angora mix rabbits didn’t get a ribbon but she said the competition experience was challenging and it was fun to have people come up to her and say nice things about her rabbits.

Brielle became fond of rabbits through a friend who raised them and decided to get two of her own. Through 4-H she learned more about the care of animals, she said.

“It’s really fun getting to be with animals and learning how to show them,” she said. “It’s also fun just being with other people my age and hanging out with them.”

Grace Odenbach, 12, Jamestown, is also in her first county fair competition with her Boer goats. She worked hard to get them ready for competition.

“We shave them and polish their horns and their hooves,” she said.

Dylan Cleghorn, 13, Jamestown, has been in 4-H four years and won his class in swine this year but his special harlequin rabbit didn’t win a ribbon most likely for faded fur, he said.

“No rabbit is the exactly the same,” Cleghorn said. “Most of them are pretty moody too.”

Coming to the fair and competing are great ways to meet other people who are doing the same things, he said. It’s easy to tell who has been doing the work, he said.

“At the fair I meet a lot of people and if someone doesn’t know much about it and they want to get into it then you can just help them out,” Cleghorn said.

Alexis Vandeberghe, 16, Cleveland, has been competing her black Angus cattle for six years. She has five entered this year, three calves, a heifer and a steer.

She likes her cow-calf combination as her best chance for a ribbon.

“You do a lot more with them (competition cows),” she said. “We started them in the fall 2017 for this fair. They get a lot of special care and stay in the barn with fans on them and get special feed to gain more than the average cow.”

It’s because the judges look to see if the cows are physically correct and the calves are bigger for their age, she said.

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