Hello everyone! Ally Hand here, writing from Lane County. Lane County had its county fair two weeks ago and I had a blast helping out with things behind the scenes. We set up everything on Monday and Tuesday to be ready for the fair opening on Wednesday. It was exciting seeing everything come together. First, we set up the 4-H static exhibit. If you are unfamiliar with 4-H, static exhibits are the projects such as photography, drawing, sewing, baking, jewelry making, flower arrangements, and educational displays. I took some time making the baked goods display look presentable and it was pretty hard to not take a nibble out of all of the delicious-looking entries.
The next task I helped with was during 4-H animal check-in. When the animals arrive at the fairgrounds, they have to pass a vet check in order to get off of their trailer. After passing a vet check, they are weighed and then taken to their pens. It was fun watching the kids get their animals settled in, as I had never seen that side of fair before. I enjoyed seeing the variety of animals that were at the fair this year.
During one of the showmanship shows, I handed out ribbons to the kids which were fun to do as well. 4-H uses the Danish merit system for awarding youth at the fair. At first, it was a bit hard to understand, but I have a much better understanding of it now.
One learning moment that I had while helping with the fair was to listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision. My supervisor, Elizabeth Gangwer, a 4-H program coordinator in Lane County, had to make the final decision, and I was very impressed with how level-headed she was.
I am seeing the mission of OSU Extension being met in several ways. One is by teaching the public about proper animal care and what healthy animals look like. The youth are responsible for all of the animal care at the fair and they do a great job keeping their animals happy and their pens clean. Another way I have seen the mission of Extension being met is by connecting OSU to the general public. We had a large booth set up at the fair as well as a 4-H table and got several new individuals on our email list. It was important to reach out to the public and let them know OSU Extension is there to help with all kinds of topics.
For the last three weeks of my internship, I will be helping out with one youth camp and then teaching two Junior Master Gardener camps. I’ve had a great internship experience so far and am really looking forward to the two camps I will be teaching.