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Lake County 4-H’ers Travel to the State Fair and the 4-H State Horse Show

Fourteen Lake County 4-H’ers earned a chance to represent Lake County at the Minnesota State Fair held August 24th through September 4th. What does it take to earn this opportunity? According to the media release, “Throughout the year, 4-H youth select project areas that reflect personal areas of interest and pursue hands-on learning in self-directed and guided environments. The results of their learning are exhibited at county fairs across the state. A collection of the best exhibits from each fair are brought to the 4-H Building at the Minnesota State Fair. Exhibiting project work at the State Fair provides youth an opportunity to showcase their achievements and continue learning through interactive conference judging with project experts.

” Blue ribbons were earned by a number of Lake County 4-H’ers. Alison S. and Libby A. each received a blue ribbon for their jewelry making. Photographers Anya H., Clayton H., Kelsy C., and Maria S. earned blue ribbons for their entries. Other blue ribbon recipients were Avery S., who woodworked a saddle stand; Steinar A., who restored a waffle maker; Isabelle M., who restored a scooter; Ginger S., who made a mousetrap car; quilter Chloe P., and guitarist Winter B.

 Isabelle R. earned a red ribbon in entomology, and Madison C. earned a red ribbon in painting.

At the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show, held September 16-19, 2022, 4H horsemen and women showcased their horsemanship skills in a variety of areas.

Renee Kostick, Extension Educator and manager of the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project says, “Through the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show, youth build communications skills, gain deeper learning and interest in horses, and build relationships with caring adults. These experiences contribute to their success in school, community, and futures.

” Lake County’s delegation to the horse show consisted of Allison “A” Kircher, Emma Solem, Ethan Swartout, Keyera Kangas, Laura Sullivan, and Libby Althaus.

I had the opportunity to ask both Allison Kircher and Emma Solem about their trips to the State Horse Show. Kircher said she was “very excited to accept my third state trip! It is a very cool opportunity and a fun experience.

“I felt super excited and grateful,” said Emma Solem. “I had only been riding this new horse I’m leasing since May, and I was extremely proud of her. It is also my last year of 4-H, so I was super happy to go out on a high note, especially with my best friends.

” Kircher’s favorite part about going to state is “getting to exhibit all of the hard work we put in all year. I also love getting to spend the long weekend with friends and family.” Solem says “my favorite part about going has and always will be racing in that huge coliseum.”

When I asked Kircher and Solem what they have learned from competing in the State Horse Show, Kircher replied, “This year I actually learned the most from other competitors. My grade (grade 10) is one of the biggest and most competitive age groups, and so I picked up a lot from watching these very talented and top-of-their-game 4-H’ers warm up, ride, show, and [I got] to hear them talk about their strategy heading into certain performance classes.

” Solem said, “I think this experience really makes you appreciate your horse more and realize they can have off days too. You can’t just put a saddle on and expect to run perfectly every single time. It takes a lot of work and patience and caring for your animal. They’re athletes and they need to be treated like it.”

In conclusion, Kircher said, “My only comment is that I strongly encourage people to join 4-H. It’s not just about horses and other livestock, there is something for everyone. And you get to be around a great group of kids and parents. We’d love to have you!

” Solem adds to that by saying, “I’m just so proud of everyone who made it this year and will continue to make it in the future. I believe it’s an experience every 4-H’er should experience.”

For more information on how to join your local 4H club contact Tracey Anderson, Extension Education for 4-H Youth Development in Lake County, at turne275@umn.edu or call her at 218-834-8379

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