HUTCHINSON – There were no amusement rides filling the background noise, no smells of food filling the air, nor a steady buzz of people passing by.
But for about 200 youth, the show – that is, the Kansas State Fair – did go on.
In what was dubbed as the 2020 Kansas State Fair Special Edition, a couple hundred 4-H members got together this past week for livestock shows featuring horse, poultry, dairy goat and dairy cattle entries. The events signaled the third of three weekends since Labor Day that the Kansas State Fair hosted what it called ‘special edition’ livestock shows.
There was the expected social distancing among competitors and a handful of spectators, and safety measures were put in place to protect all involved. But Shannon Rogge, a program coordinator with Kansas 4-H Youth Development, said what was equally evident was the spirit on display.
"Many families continued to work on 4-H projects even when club and project meetings were not meeting face to face," Rogge said. "Local agents provided support to keep families updated on deadlines and requirements. Our volunteers also were able to adapt to changes as they prepared for shows."
Winners in each category were named, but the predominant refrain was putting a nice wrap on another 4-H year.
"I do believe these youth learned resiliency, as the situation was ever-changing," Rogge said. "In addition, they had to make tough decisions related to their projects, which goes back to the life skills that we teach in 4-H."
Rogge noted that youth did not have to qualify at district events in order to show at the state fair this year; the district events would normally have been held at a time when Americans were being encouraged to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results from this year’s Kansas State Fair horse, poultry, dairy goat and dairy cattle shows will be available at www.Kansas4-H.org when they are available.