Siouxland Youth Fair in Sioux County, Sioux Center

12 Jul

This week begins the start of the annual fair openings for various communities and counties around the Siouxland region. I visited the Sioux County Youth Fair this past weekend.

It officially starts Monday with 4-H kids and FFA (Future Farmers of America) members bringing in their items to be judged on Monday, and they will be showing their items for competition and these can range from photography, animal husbandry, arts, crafts, baking, engineering, etc.

The showing that took place this weekend was an open show for beef people and goats owners which allows people outside the immediate area to compete as well. During the regular fair competition it is generally just those people who live within a certain geographic area that competes in their county fairs.

The participation of possible 4-H members has grown since I was a 4-H member in the latter 1960’s and early ’70’s. In those days, 4-H mainly consisted of kids in the rural areas of their communities, basically farm kids. Today it’s very inclusive of children living in towns and cities.

And the projects available for competition has grown as well. The credo of 4-H has always been learn by doing. And like any worthwhile activity such as sports, there is work involved in participating and doing well. These youngsters have spent considerable time creating their projects or tending to their animals. Records have to be kept and information learned, especially with animals. Those raising animals may have to later recall that info when asked by a judge.

So it’s fun to reminisce and watch a younger generation, or two, or three, go through the growing pains I went through in completing a project. And by today’s standards, there is so much more competition for kids’ attention than when I was that age.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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