MOUNT VERNON — The miscellaneous judging for 4-H projects was held Wednesday at the 4-H activity center on the Knox County Fairgrounds. This judging event encompasses a lot of the outside and non-animal projects and is meant to be a very eclectic showcase of the creativity of 4-H kids throughout the county. The event showcases a variety of projects such as sewing, cooking, woodworking, food and nutrition, clothing projects, self-determined projects that the 4-H member can choose as an independent project, quilting, cake decorating, non-fair small animals (such as hamsters), knot-tying, safe use of guns, archery, robotics, art and other categories.
“This is a way for our 4-H members across the county to showcase what they’ve done,” said Jana Mussard, a Knox County 4-H Educator. “With COVID-19, a lot of them have been home. They get tired of doing their normal schoolwork, so they can come here and do projects. They can shift gears from science and math to applying science and math to the real world with their projects.”
Bruce Daubenmier was a judge for gun safety, archery, small engines, and tractor safety. Daubenmier said that there are ways to judge a 4-H kid’s ability in these fields without necessarily being out in the field and doing the activities with them.
“All of the 4-H members have project books and there are activities in the project books,” said Daubenmier. “There are some activities that the students have to do and there are some that require visual displays. I just look to make sure their project books are complete, ask them general questions to make sure that their knowledge is where it should be in terms of their age.”
Bitsi Gourley was the judge for scrap-booking, laundry projects and cake decorating. The judging process for the cake decorating projects, for example, included judging three levels which depend on the skill-set of the individual who is being judged. The three levels include knowledge that builds upon itself. For example, level one includes knowledge of the types of icing. This knowledge is useful for the more complex process of actually making a cake. All of the project books for the miscellaneous projects followed the format of teaching by levels of knowledge and difficulty.
“This is great for the kids,” said Gourley. “It gives them something that they are interested in and something that they want to learn more about. I encourage our 4-H members to meet up with people in the community so they can learn from them and to get the community involved.”
Kyla Kidwell is a 4-H member who participated in the dog activity. The activity features obedience training for the dog, showmanship training and agility training (which includes obstacle course runs.) The 4-H member also had to make a display based off of the training and care of their dog for the judge to review.
“We don’t actually get to show at the fair this year because of COVID-19, so we made posters for the judge to present to them the information about us training our dogs,” said Kidwell. “This is fun for me. It’s a hobby that I really enjoy.”
Morgan Gaboric is a 4-H member who participated in the Get Started in Art project. She presented to the judges a wide range of art pieces. The art included a canvas art piece of a beach and also a canvas of the “Star Wars” characters Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
“I really enjoy drawing for my friends,” said Gaboric. “This is my first year presenting my art to the judges.”
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