We know how important the fair experience is for our 4H and FFA youth and we found ourselves really missing it this year as well. To keep up the competitive spirit, we started a virtual showcase contest for youth livestock, dairy, horse, poultry or rabbit projects. Entrants could either write an essay or submit a video to answer the question: What was your summer fair project and what life lessons have you learned from your experience?
Here are our 2020 Virtual Showcase Winners!
Essay Award Winners
Champion – Kaitlyn Bradley, Vienna, MD - ESSAY
Reserve Champion – Jenna Everhart, Martinsburg, WV - ESSAY
First Place – Kaitlyn Bradley, Vienna, MD
Second Place – Jenna Everhart, Martinsburg, WV
Third Place – Lindsey Rigby, Woodstock, VA
Fourth Place – Cheyenne Estep, Mount Jackson, VA
Fifth Place – Melissa Griswold, Chadds Ford, PA
First Place – Brileigh Francis, Centerville, MD
Second Place – Noelle Whalen, Berryville, VA
Third Place – Elizabeth (Libby) Green, New Windsor, MD
Fourth Place – Braelyn Francis, Centerville, MD
Fifth Place – Leah Stout, Winchester, VA
Video Award Winners
Champion – Emma Musser, Mount Joy, PA - VIDEO
Reserve Champion – Lake Vasey, Lincoln, DE - VIDEO
First Place – Emma Musser, Mount Joy, PA
Second Place – Lake Vasey, Lincoln, DE
Third Place – Caleb Miller, Marietta, PA
Fourth Place – Elizabeth Handlin, Bear, DE
Fifth Place – Kimberly Laue, Winchester, VA
First Place – Ryleigh Archer, Milton, DE
Second Place – Cohen Miller, Marietta, PA
Third Place – Mikayla Britz, Reisterstown, MD
Fourth Place – Yardley Lockridge, Winchester, VA
Fifth Place– Alan Espenshade, Bainbridge, PA
My Summer Fair Projects by Kaitlyn Bradley
My name is Kaitlyn Bradley, and at our “2020 UnFair” I exhibited my three project animals. I also helped my friends exhibit their animals, because they had gotten sick. This year I raised a Berkshire gilt named Willow; a Duroc gilt named Honey, and a Jersey steer named Buck. For my friends, I also showed his Boar goat and his sisters Duroc barrow. Although 2020 was a unique year, I still gained many life lessons.
The 4 “H’s” in 4-H stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health; and I learned life lessons relating to each one of these. For Head, the most important thing that I learned this year was goal setting. This year was very uncertain, so it was important to set small goals and keep working towards them. This also kept me motivated for our version of the fair.
The life lessons that I learned from Heart, were to always communicate. In a new virtual world, communication is extremely important. When I needed help or I was helping others with their project, my only option was to do it virtually.
The most important life lesson I learned was motivation, which falls under the hands category. I went and purchased my projects, but when the fair started becoming uncertain, I could feel my heart wasn’t into training them. Yet, I pushed myself to keep going and do my best, no matter what COVID-19 threw at us. This is why I learned an important lesson, because matter what; you always must always work with your animals.
Finally, the last life lessons falls under Health. Sometimes I felt like just quitting and waiting till next year, but I persevered and kept working towards my goals even though many events were getting cancelled. Also, I learned a personal safety lesson, since we had to wear masks and social distance.
My goals for the 2020 shows were to improve in my showmanship and place well in at least one breed class. I won Reserve Champion 4-H beef showman and 3rd place in pig showmanship, which is a big improvement. I also won Grand Champion 4-H showman with my friend’s goat. My showmanship skills have been improving, and as I keep improving, my next goal is to win the Supreme Showmanship contest. I also achieved my other goal by winning Grand Champion Breeding Hog and Grand Champion Dairy Steer.
Although this has been a very difficult year, I am grateful for the life lessons it has taught me, and that I was able to help my friends get their animals to the 4-H auction. We should always appreciate what we have, because it can be taken away fast. I look forward to next year and I hope it’s a more “normal” fair.
Virtual Showcase Contest Essay by Jenna Everhart
Hi, my name is Jenna Everhart, and I am a member of the Jefferson FFA Chapter and the Jefferson County 4-H Saddle Club in West Virginia. My FFA project this summer consisted of a market steer, dairy heifer, and through 4-H I did an equine project. This year, my steer’s name was Rufus, my dairy heifers name is Luna, and my equine project is my horse, Hector. I have grown up showing livestock since I was able to walk and started in clover buds, and now I have been a 4-H member for 11 years. Being a member of 4-H throughout the years has provided me with life skills that I will carry throughout my whole life. From waking up at the crack of dawn before school to feed my animals, to staying up all night with a sick kid. 4-H has taught me to work hard for what I love, ALWAYS smile while doing it, and most importantly, have fun. The reward of getting to raise a livestock project from start to finish and getting to show it off at my local fair every year is worth every up and down.
This year I had a goal of growing my steers hair out, which requires rinsing and blow drying my steer daily. The time I spent with my steer and the bond we developed was so strong because of how hard I worked toward just one goal. A goal I had with my equine project was to compete in the annual bareback dollar contest at my county fair. I know, seems like a pretty silly goal, but my horse is young and still being trained, so it was a pretty tough goal in my eyes. Bareback dollar was always one of the most fun games that everyone competed in together, everyone laughing the WHOLE time. I always enjoyed it with my old show horse, so I was determined to have just as much fun with Hector. Unfortunately, we never had our county fair, so I never got the chance to show off my hard work, but I definitely spent most of my summer riding without a saddle.
This year raising livestock projects for my county fair was incredibly difficult due to COVID-19. Everyone was unsure about being able to show our animals and sell them, wondering if all our hard work was going to go to waste, but my community came together and didn’t let down the youth. I am so thankful for them during a time that was scary and unpredictable. Our county fair was unable to happen, but members in our county hosted a COVID-19 Showcase and Sale for all the 4-H and FFA members in our county. Although I didn’t get to spend a full week with my ag family, the three days my community put together to allow the youth to show and sell our livestock projects were perfect. This is just one example of a life lesson agriculture has instilled in me. My ag family came together to put on something to not just benefit themselves, but to support all the youth in my county.