We are wrapping up our week at the Faribault county fair. For those of you that have been following us, you know we’re pretty involved in 4-H. The kids took project to the fair in areas such as wildlife biology, plant and soil science, robotics, food and nutrition and self-determined. They also took their rabbits and their pigs. Brett and Adam gave presentations on Saturday afternoon. Combine all those activities with working in the Dining Hall, participating in the 4-H Auction and just viewing the fair and you can see it’s been a busy week.

The kids have experienced the nervous anticipation of waiting to be judged. They have felt the satisfaction of earning a blue ribbon and the delight of a Grand Champion Purple ribbon. They have also been handed a red ribbon, which hopefully will be a motivation for improvement next year. Brett has earned a state fair trip for his rabbit, wildlife biology project and will be giving his presentation. Adam will take his plant and soil science project to the state fair and will also give a presentation.

We’ve had a share of breakdown moments too. Our patience runs thin when we’re tired from moving pigs or cleaning pens or just plain hot and tired. At those times we don’t always use the kindest voice and we have to remind ourselves that we’re all feeling the same way, tired and even a bit stressed.

Sometimes I wonder why we do it. Why do we get so involved and push ourselves so much? The obvious answer is for the kids. It’s true, I’ve watched them become better speakers and more confident individuals and I know that’s because of their 4-H experience. But are there other reasons too?

As Brett read the Code of Conduct Statement before the auction Friday night, there were a few statements that struck home with me. I’d like to share them with you:

            It is an opportunity for us to demonstrate some of what we have learned and how we have used our projects to grow and develop as young people. When our days in 4-H are over, we want to take with us what we have gained about honest, ethics, integrity and our desire to be caring and contributing citizens. You’ve taught us how to win; you’ve taught us how to deal with disappointment. But regardless of the color of our ribbons, we hope we demonstrate good sportsmanship today and throughout our lives.