The youngest 4-H members participate in the Cloverbuds class for ages five through eight. They are eligible to perform some caretaking tasks with adult help and continuous supervision, and can answer visitors’ questions. Elyse Gamradt, age 6, prepares to curry her horse, Big Red, a 30-year-old. Elyse is a member of the Lucky Spurs 4-H club, and is the daughter of Wayne and Char Gamradt of Long Prairie.
Joe Staricka of Swanville stands with his Brown Swiss steers Bulwinkle and Rocky. They were born on Staricka’s farm and are fully grown at seven years old. “They’re big pets,” said Staricka. He milks a herd of 60, with 12 of them being Brown Swiss.
Nicole Bunting likes the Stearns County Fair so much, she brings her Percheron, Barney, all the way from Redwood Falls. He took 5th place in harness. Nicole is the daughter of Doug and Lynn Bunting.
The Fair provides the opportunity for youth to demonstrate what they have learned in their 4-H projects during the past year through exhibits, performances, and other judged activities. Getting started with his prize pig, Porky, is Bryce Nathe of Freeport. Porky won a blue ribbon in the market barrow category and earned Bryce $200 at the blue ribbon auction. Bryce is the son of Willy and Georgine Nathe, and a Pelican Peak club member.
The blue ribbon auction provides 4-H members with blue ribbon-winning animals the opportunity to find a community sponsor to help defray the costs of raising their animals. Local business owners and other supporters bid on the blue ribbons for the chance to support 4-H and local youths. Abigail Wilwerding is ready to present her five-month-old Suffolk sheep, Bernard, at the auction Saturday. Abigail is the daughter of Jim and Sarah Wilwerding of Freeport, and a member of the Pelican Peak 4-H club.