Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Sept. 6, 1999

Wright 4-Hers 'make best better' at state fair

By Mary Ann Peterson
U of M Extension Service

Nearly 40 youth and three adult chaperones participated in a wide variety of activities at the Minnesota State Fair.

These 4-Hers were involved with non-animal projects and activities.

The great experience that Wright County 4-Hers had is due in large to the adult helpers who assist them at the fair. The adult advisors who chaperoned the 4-Hers were Dawn Sawatzke of Waverly and Marilyn Chopp of Buffalo.

The 4-Hers all did a great job of representing Wright County at the fair. A number of 4-Hers earned the "helping hands" award for their contribution of service to their community through 4-H and project work. Receiving 4-H helping hands awards were Andy Sawatzke of Waverly, Julie Sonsteby of South Haven, Joe Miessen of Maple Lake, Mary Jo Geldert of Annandale, Megan Kowalke and Monica Kowalke of Buffalo, and Megan Thomas of Corcoran.

Three Wright County 4-Hers received the new 4-H State Fair award "The Best of the Best" for outstanding 4-H project work. Receiving "The Best of the Best" engraved medallions for their projects were Joe Sawatzke of Waverly in fishing sports, Joe Fadgen of Rogers in home environment, and Mary Joe Geldert of Annandale in child development.

There are a number of projects in which no blue, red, or white ribbons are issued, but participation awards are given. Receiving participation awards in fashion revue were Kathy Swart of Delano, Christine Patterson and Jessica Chopp of Buffalo and Brook Swearingen of Maple Lake.

Several 4-Hers received purple ribbons for their project work. The purple award winners include Turner Sawatzke in wildlife and Joe Sawatzke in fishing sports, both of Waverly, Stephanie Tenhoff of Cokato in creative arts, Julie Sonsteby of South Haven in self-determined, Mary Jo Geldert of Annandale in child development and Joe Fadgen of Rogers in home environment.

Wright County 4-Hers receiving blue ribbon awards include: Amanda Stifter in wildlife and Crystal Nibbe in vegetable gardening, both of Howard Lake; Jonathon Schaible in shop,Andy Sawatzke in exploring farm animals, and Jason Bakeberg in shooting sports, al of Waverly; Keith Fasching of Winsted in corn, Mary Joe Geldert of Annandale in youth in action demonstration.

Holly Swearingen of Maple Lake in clothing, Becky Tenhoff of Cokato in indoor gardening, Megan Thomas of Corcoran in needle arts, Anne Wetter of Buffalo in plant and soil science, Tony Dahlman of Cokato in citizenship, Samantha Henningson of Monticello in photography.

Megan and Monica Kowalke of Buffalo in club community pride (service to their community), Sarah Latour of Maple Lake in food preservation, Clint Pouliot of Loretto in lawn and landscape, Kristopher Schneider of Delano in computer, and Rachel Schwindel of Maple Lake in needle arts.

The 4-Hers receiving awards in the red ribbon group include Kristine Ertl of Cokato in vet science, Dan Fadgen of Rogers in lawn and landscape, Craig Grimlie of Monticello in small engines, Jerome Hickman of Delano in aerospace, Jessica Lindberg of Clearwater in entomology , and Stephan Schauer of Delano in small engines.

Another special group of 4-Hers participated in doing demonstrations. It gives the 4-Hers a chance to elaborate on their project experiences or share knowledge with the audience. It serves as a means of getting the 4-Her to research, organize and present information on one of their project areas.

Demonstrators included Tony Dahlman of Cokato in food/nutrition receiving a blue ribbon, and Kristine Ertl of Cokato in food/nutrition receiving a red ribbon.

In the youth in action demonstrations Brook Swearingen and Holly Swearingen of Maple Lake received a red ribbon, and Mary Jo Geldert of Annandale received a blue ribbon.

Many of the project areas have required educational activity as part of the judging process. 4-Hers experience a unique conference judging with state specialists and take part in an activity associated with their project area. In this activity they demonstrate their abilities and skills in their project area and interact with those around them.

State fair means friends, fun and a great learning experience for the 4-Hers and leaders. Wright County 4-H had great representation with an excellent group of youth and super helpers.

State fair gives us a chance to celebrate the success of our youth and families. 4-H teaches our youth to always work at "making the best better."

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