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Letter to the editor

As the Minnesota State Fair wraps up another year, now begins the wait for a chance to see or participate in it again next year. Many things are impressive about McLeod County’s ties to the state fair. Facts like this year the president of the State Fair Board is Lynn Township resident Paul Merkins. This honor has happened to a McLeod County resident only two other times in history. We recognize many local farms that bring their livestock to compete in the Great Minnesota Get Together and watch a trail of ribbons follow them home to show their accomplishments. However, admiring the success of our county 4-H program in state competition is a great story of our local champions.
It is not an easy task for a 4-H member to be able to compete at the state fair. Only the “best-of-the-best” projects qualify to move from county to state competition. The joy of having a state fair trip is a very memorable time for these kids, not only to compete at a higher level, but to meet new people, get new ideas and attend many workshops and training opportunities while there. You can’t, of course, forget the enjoyment of the fair, itself. McLeod County repeatably sends great kids and projects to the fair that proves our program here is extremely high quality and full of great kids and volunteers. Ribbons by the dozens are awarded to our McLeod County youth and several purple ribbons, which are the highest honor, come back to McLeod County, as well. McLeod County projects in beef, dairy (seven), dairy goat, poultry, computer science, global connections, home environment, shop, and video all received purple ribbon honors. Overall, state champions or reserve champions in livestock projects of beef, dairy, poultry and dairy goat went to McLeod County youth as well.
This kind of success is not only an indicator of our agricultural status, but also that of great kids, families and supporters involved in the program. A big thank you to all our volunteers, alumni, and community supporters that make this program a success. With the Minnesota State Fair behind us, we have a few more events to go. In the next few weeks our youth will compete in the 4-H State Horse Show, State Dog Show and the Minnesota State Shooting Sports Invitational.
From project areas in agriculture, non-agriculture, leadership, citizenship, crafts, computer, science and even marksmanship - just to name a few - the 4-H program has an area of interest for everyone just waiting to unlock potential that will last a lifetime.