Tag Archives: Sioux County youth fair

Summer Time Fairs in Siouxland, Sioux Center

14 Jul

With the middle of summer approaching and the temperatures heading north, it is county fair time in Siouxland. The Sioux County Youth Fair is underway this week with other area fairs beginning as well. The fairs generally run a week with a large emphasis on the 4-H kids and their livestock or smaller animal exhibits as well as crafts and other skills learned.

Young 4-H’ers show their animal projects competing for blue ribbons and best of show at the Sioux County Youth Fair at the fairgrounds in Sioux Center, Iowa, Wednesday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As a youngster who grew up on a farm, my brothers and I participated in 4-H projects. Those times have changed as there are now fewer small farms and in some respects less “farm kids” who participate. 4-H shifted its perspective a number of years ago and began to seek “city kids” more actively to participate. It is a good organization much like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts teaching youth to follow through on projects and participating in character building activities.

Those who exhibit animals have to keep substantial records of the care given as well as demonstrate knowledge about that particular animal breed. It can be time consuming but one learns so much from doing. I like to see the kids exhibits and watch them show their animals, which brings back memories of my own participation. Some of which I can laugh about today, but then, not so much. And it’s nice to see the continuation of 4-H and the kids enjoyment in participating.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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

Sioux County Youth Fair

18 Jul

Every year 4-H fairs are held at or around the same time as most county fairs. For most “country” kids, 4-H is a fact of life. But 4-H in these modern times isn’t just for country kids raising livestock, and it really wasn’t that way years ago either. Linda Cleveringa, Sioux County, Iowa, 4-H County Youth Coordinator, said today’s 4-H club members projects range from large animals such as horses, beef, dairy or pigs and sheep to pets, small animals like rabbits and chickens or also non animal projects. “The overall experience is something that teaches children decision making, problem solving, leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills.” Cleveringa said. The 4-H club members put a lot of work into creating projects or raising their animals. During the judging aspect when they show their projects most times the children have to answer detailed questions concerning how the project came about and various aspects involved such as the type and amount of feed for their animal, the type of animal or breed specific it is, or what their non animal project entails. Club members must spend time keeping track of their own individual progress on their project and be accurate in their note taking. The Sioux County Youth Fair continues through July 19 at the fair grounds in Sioux Center, Iowa. It is well worth a trip to see the hard work these young people have put into their projects and the pride they exhibit is trying and most times succeeding. As one young man, Isaac Van Beek, Maurice, Iowa, Sioux Stockmen 4-H club member said after receiving a blue ribbon in the Western Pleasure walk/trot riding competition that he will do better next year. 4-H club members continue striving for excellence.  See photographs of the Youth Fair here.

Jerry Mennenga,Sioux City, Iowa

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