4-H 4-fair

4-H members from 52 counties have spent all year taking photographs, creating wood art, making clothes and baking goodies.

This week it’s all on display in the 4-H Hall at the North Dakota State Fair Center.

Shelby Hennessy, a senior at Berthold High School, has been in 4-H for nine years and has done just about everything. Like her younger siblings, she used to show her own cattle, horses and goats. The family stays in a camper on the fairgrounds during the fair. Her siblings will be showing their livestock throughout the fair.

“It helps you to become a leader,” Hennessy said, since 4-H members develop poise when they give presentations. “And it helps with communication skills.”

The Berthold 4-H club meets once a month and sometimes has project days, where they work on projects together. 4-H members often work on their own projects at home.

When she was younger, Hennessy had up to 20 projects on display at the fair; this year she has only three.

There’s a blue-beaded bracelet that Hennessy created using beads strung on wire. It won a blue ribbon. Her photograph depicting an up-close and personal look at her horse’s eye won a red ribbon at the fair, though it won a blue ribbon during 4-H Achievement Days. Hennessy also entered a hand-made headband. She sells the headbands at rodeos.

“I kind of became more artsy (in 4-H),” said Hennessy.

If kids are interested in a particular subject, there’s probably a 4-H project for it.

Among the projects on display were a wood-burned sign reading “Plesuk” by Sierra Plesuk from Velva, miniature rockets and descriptions of pet genetics. One child describes her cat, a cross between a tabby and a Siamese, as having a “dog-like personality.” Another did a project on her pet gerbil, noting that gerbils should be neutered or there will be a lot of baby gerbils.

“The older you get, the harder it get to do more,” said Hennessy, who competes in high school rodeo and does other activities in high school.

Still, she finds time to do a bit for 4-H too. Hennessy set up the exhibits for Ward County and took her turn sitting in the 4-H hall to answer questions about all the projects.

People oohing and ahhing over the exhibits seemed to think seeing what the 4-H kids have done is one of the best parts of the fair.