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4-H builds 'purple ribbon kids'

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Minnesota 4-Hers from 87 counties exhibited 3,246 projects that were judged in the 4-H Building at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. These 4-Hers all placed high at their county fairs with their projects, thereby earning them the top honor of showing at the State Fair this year.

Education is integral in the "learn by doing" philosophy of 4-H. Though the projects and animals shown at fairs get a lot of attention, 4-H is really about developing "purple ribbon kids." Participation in 4-H provides all 4-H youth with critical experiences and skills -- such as communicating, problem solving, and decision making -- which will serve them throughout their lives.

The spectacular array of 4-H projects exhibited this year spanned a wide range of topic areas, including aerospace, photography, performing arts, clothing, small engines, geology, flower gardening, landscaping, wildlife biology, fine arts and much more.

This year's 4-H general encampments were held Aug. 31-Sept. 7. Becker County had 25 participant's exhibiting on Sept. 3-5 including

Aerospace: Zachery Eifealdt;

Creative Arts: Annie Erickson, Beth Klein;

Dog Display: Lauren Pederson, Elisabeth Peterson;

Exploring Animals: Devin Lange;

Fashion Revue: Amber Christensen, Alexa Okeson, Bailey Yliniemi;

Food Revue: Amy Klein;

Forest Resources: Abigail Krause;

Geology: Blaze Ettlinger;

Home Environment: Breann Hogie;

Indoor Gardening: Carolyn McCormack;

Performing Arts: Emily Freeh, Rachel Lindemann;

Photography: Christianna Freeh, Kylie Walthers;

Quilts: Rebecca Schermer;

Robotics: Zachery Krause;

Shop: Andrew Brown, Drake Halver, Michael Okeson;

Wildlife Biology: Dannon Yliniemi and Ethan Vanoffelen.

Congratulations to all the youth from Becker County who participated in the 4-H General Encampments at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.

The 4-H program is funded through a partnership of federal, state, county and private resources and is part of the University of Minnesota Extension. More Minnesota State Fair results and photos can be found at