The Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show may be canceled but 4-H competitions have continued — they’re just a little different this year.
Instead of a show at the Hardin County Fairgrounds, there was a project fair and livestock market judging at the Hardin County Extension Service.
“Using the same categories and classes, we still wanted to give kids an opportunity to showcase their work,” 4-H agent Marla Stillwell, said.
4-H starts in September and Stillwell said students have worked on their projects all year, some through virtual opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stillwell was surprised Monday to have 40 children bring in 132 exhibits.
“That, to me, speaks for itself,” she said. “We have a room full of submissions.”
The projects include photography, art, sewing and more.
“With the number of exhibits we’ve received, it proves to me they wanted to do it and didn’t want it to be canceled,” Stillwell said.
A video with the winners will be posted on the 4-H Facebook page so community members can see who won.
On Tuesday, 4-H students from the young cloverbuds to the high school level had a chance to show their livestock.
“When all this hit, we didn’t quit meeting,” 4-H agent Bonnie Jolly said.
The last in-person meeting was in March and then they continued meeting on Zoom, she said. Jolly let the students make the decisions. They wanted to keep the date the same and have the livestock shown at the show ring at the extension service.
Jolly said these are market animals. Some are used for breeding but others are sent to be processed for meat. While some of the animals might go on to the state fair, she said others will be processed and the children wouldn’t have a chance to show them next year.
Jolly said they put a lot of work into what are often close to 1,400 pound animals.
“These kids put in a lot of work and wanted to see it through,” she said.
There were 16 children who showed livestock Tuesday afternoon.
Tori Greer, 14, an incoming Central Hardin freshman, showed her 216 pound pig named Baby Girl on Tuesday.
She said raising and showing her pig is a good hobby that keeps her busy throughout the year.
“It teaches you to have really good responsibility,” Geer said.
She’s learned how to manage money while caring for the pig. She’s been in 4-H for four years and won a first-place trophy for showmanship on Tuesday.
Riley Pike, 12, showed goats with her three sisters.
“We are going to be showing our goats but there are lots of different species being shown,” she said.
Pike said in showmanship you have to stay calm, even if the animal acts up. When showing market, you have to show your goat’s muscles and fitness so people want to buy them.
Pike’s been in 4-H for three years, it’s the first year for her two younger sisters.
“I really love it and it helps you learn responsibility,” she said.
She added it’s fun to do with family.
“You get to have a little bit of competition with your siblings,” Pike said.