The Kitsap 4-H club is preparing for another year of exhibits for the 2019 Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.
Members will have the opportunity to showcase the skills they have learned throughout the year in preparation for the fair. Each day of the fair will provide new opportunities for 4-H members to participate.
The 4-H program is a national organization that promotes youth development and community. It is the largest youth development organization in the country with nearly six million members nationwide. Approximately 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4-H professionals serve as mentors for the youth members across the country.
The birth of 4-H is supposed to have taken place in 1902 when A.B. Graham started a youth program in Clark County, Ohio.
“4‑H’ers are tackling the nation’s top issues, from global food security, climate change and sustainable energy to childhood obesity and food safety,” 4-H.org says.
At the fair, members will include showcases such as livestock, demonstrate horseback riding, art, cooking, sewing, photography, food preservation and archery. Judging for some of the events took place Monday and Tuesday before the fair opened to the public Wednesday.
Current Kitsap 4-H Club member Katie Bastian has been with the program for about five years marketing animals. She said the popularity of the local club has its ebbs and flows.
“I would say it’s pretty popular. It has its ups and downs. There’s been great years, there’s been bad years. People take breaks and people just lose interest. It all depends on the person and what you’re involved in.”
15-year-old Bastian, who attends Klahowya Secondary School, said she grew up with the 4-H program, mostly dealing with pigs. This year, she will be displaying two female pigs. If they make the weight mark of 225 pounds, she will be auctioning them off on Saturday.
“Coming to the fair and seeing other people do it was a big influence,” Bastian said. “I started doing it because my sister did it. Seeing what they bring and how they have such a good time doing it just makes you want to get involved as well.”
The day before the fair begins, all livestock and animals will go through a veterinary screening before being allowed into their appropriate barns. A market animal weigh-in will also take place that same day in preparation for the Kitsap County Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The auction provides an opportunity for Kitsap County 4H and FFA individuals (producers) to showcase their market animal projects they have raised from birth, and are now ready for market,” according to the Kitsap County Fair website.
Members will be auctioning off beef, swine, lambs, goats, rabbit and poultry, given that they make their weight before the fair begins.
Bastian said youth members of 4-H programs nationwide can acquire skillsets that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
“They will get sportsmanship and leadership skills,” she said. “It will teach you how to be a leader, how to learn from other’s mistakes, your own mistakes, and just becoming a better person through the eyes of other people and yourself.”