4-Hers take part in pre-fair judging

WARREN – With the Trumbull County Fair kicking off this week, many local 4-H participants recently completed much of the prefair judging at a local event held in Warren.

Kiersten Heckel, a 4-H educator with the Trumbull County Extension Office, said 4-H project judging began in late June when youth with both animal and non-animal projects were judged on their knowledge on various aspects of their 4-H project.

The judging took place at the Mahoning Valley Hope Center on all types of animals, including poultry, sheep, swine and rabbit.

Heckel said the judging was like a ”skillathon” in which youth had to identify different parts of their animals, different species of their animal, and different feed given to their animal.

”It’s very important that they know what they are feeding their animal and what they require,” Heckel said.

While no animals were brought to the center, the 4-Hers discussed their an array of aspects of their project. The showing of the animals takes place at the fair.

For the swine category, 43 youth took part in judging. Youth identify parts of the swine and different meat parts as well as the feed, which is identified by smell and appearance and medications given to their animals.

Heckel said other judging was on scrapbooking, technology and photography.

“They spent several months working on their projects and a put in a lot of effort,” she said. ”The judges will select the ones for representing Trumbull County at the state competition where they will compete from kids from other counties.”

Josie Wagner of Hubbard said she has raised rabbits and chickens and take part in scrapbooking.

”You have to stick with this,” she said of raising her animals.

She said the scrapbooking is not done at the fair but takes place ahead of the event.

”The funnest part is when the judges look at your animals and let you know what you are doing right,” Wagner said.

Heckel said clubs usually start in the fall or in early January and sign up for what projects they want to take part in to meet the spring deadline for all the paperwork to be done.

4-H is a youth development program for boys and girls ages 5 to 19 where members engage in hands-on learning projects.

Members of the Exploring Nature 4-H Club from Southington met at Young’s Run at Clarence Darrow Metropark in Champion to learn about health of a stream ecosystem. Participants collected specimens and what they tell about a stream’s health.