Comparing 4-H youth and the fairs they attend

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by WhiteAfrican923, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. WhiteAfrican923

    WhiteAfrican923 Chirping

    Nov 7, 2013
    Hi Everybody,
    Just this summer I was the poultry superintendent for our county fair. I had shown there and been a member for about 15 years. I thought I would give it a spin as superintendent.


    I had so many things go wrong.
    1. The paper work for the show was a half hour late.
    2. The judging lasted four hours on about 200 birds.

    Our fair is very liberal meaning if someone comes in with a crossbred bird we have to let them show it.
    We only had 35 kids which may seem small.

    We are not allowed to disqualify because it will hurt their feelings.
    We also have a weird setup for grouping the birds. They go by club and not breed standard.
    That was the reason why judging took so long because the judge had to go from one end of the barn to another just to find one bird.
    We have a thing called herdsmanship which is how the display looks with decorations and how well the pens are cleaned. The best one gets a plaque at the end of the week. I think this is very unnecessary because kids should not get rewarded for something they should be doing in the first place. I tried to change some of the stuff but I got some backlash saying it was fine the way it was.

    I would like to know from all of you what your fairs are like.

    PS. I have stepped down because I want to get away from 4-H for a while and live my own life. Fair was my vacation.

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    IMO, fairs should be ABA and APA sanctioned, and judges should be licensed. With youth (be it open youth, 4H, FFA or other), I think there should be two awards per bird.

    1) based upon the condition of the bird, irrespective of its adherence to any standard. A well-kept bird should be rewarded, as to a large extent, that is the goal with 4H and other youth: learning animal husbandry. Condition of the bird is much more than how clean its cage is/is not. This is an equalizer--every child has the opportunity to excel, and it is purely based on their own efforts. Might not even be entirely competing against other birds, but individually against preset standards, with all birds being capable of winning a blue ribbon for excellent care. However, poor care should also receive its just reward of DQ or at least lack of placement.

    2) based upon APA/APA standards for exhibition; DQs allowed, individual birds competing against each other, regardless of which club their owner belongs.

    also, any decorations, etc. might be the basis for an additional award based solely on the decorations, and should simply be for fun; much like a costume contest would be.

    I am assuming that the reason they divide/compete between clubs rather than by class and breed is that they are either trying to have the clubs competing against each other, or are trying to give kids in clubs with less knowledgeable leaders an equal opportunity to excel.

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