Boone County Fair just a part of 4-H

Monday, July 21, 2008 | 7:40 p.m. CDT; updated 8:45 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 27, 2008

This story was updated to add that Missouri 4-H is an arm of MU Extension.

COLUMBIA — At 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Boone County Fair, Alex Kerr-Totten, 12, started readying his three goats — Shy Anne, Snowball and Josie — for the 4-H goat show at 4 p.m.

“I cleaned their hooves, brushed them down and sprayed show shine on them to get ready,” Kerr-Totten said.

Fair schedule

Tuesday 4 p.m. Fair opens 4 to 9 p.m. Children’s barnyard open 6 p.m. Carnival opens 6 p.m. Junior market lamb 6 p.m. Pony pull 7 p.m. Pedal pull 7 p.m. Gospel night — Nashville Church Band, Praises to Him 7:30 p.m. Fair car racing 8 p.m. Talent show preliminary rounds Wednesday 9 a.m. Junior breeding sheep show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Preschool barnyard tours 4 p.m. Fair opens 4 to 9 p.m. Children’s barnyard open 4 to 10 p.m. Hendrick’s Educational Zoo 5 p.m. Pig races 7 p.m. Fiddler’s frolic 7 p.m. Junior swine show 7 to 10 p.m. Car racing 8 p.m. Talent show preliminary rounds 9 p.m. Pig races Compiled by Ashley Dillon

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With the Boone County Fair beginning Monday, the Missourian will be featuring a lot of coverage of events such as this. To provide some background, here’s an explanation of 4-H itself.

4-H is a countrywide community of young people learning leadership, citizenship and life skills, according to the Missouri 4-H Web site. The program, an arm of MU Extension, caters to kids ages 8 to 18; participants do projects, explore their interests and meet others their age from across the county, state and even the nation, said Stephanie Femrite, 4-H educator for Boone County.

Every 4-H member must enroll in at least one project, work on goals for that project and keep a record of their progress, according to the Web site. There are 60 official projects, including woodworking and livestock showing, cake decorating and sewing, which leave room for 4-Hers to get creative.

The name, according to the Web site, comes from the four H’s: head, heart, hands and health. The 4-H pledge says it all: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

For the 51 weeks of the year when there is no Boone County Fair, 4-Hers meet once a month with their club to get updated on events such as community service opportunities, picnics and other get-togethers, Femrite said.

There are also project meetings where 4-Hers learn about and begin making their projects for the fair. Camps and conferences give 4-H members a chance to have fun, make friends and network for their futures. At recognition night every November, the 4-Hers are recognized for their hard work, Femrite said.

The county fair is just a small part of the life and times of a 4-Her, but it’s a part that kids like Alex Kerr-Totten look forward to and work toward all year.

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