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La Plata County 4-H members earn awards at Colorado State Fair

The La Plata County 4-H year is officially wrapping up, and what a wonderful year it has been.

Our La Plata County Fair was a huge success – full of fun and excitement. Our 4-H members were able to showcase their hard work, and our community really showed up for them at the Junior Livestock Auction. I would like to say a big thank you to all of our buyers and supporters of our 4-H youths.

We had 86 general (non-animal) projects qualify for the Colorado State Fair, and it is not an easy thing to do. To qualify, our 4-H members must win a champion ribbon at the La Plata County Fair. This means that only the very best of the best are able to compete at the state level.

So, as you can guess, the state fair is stiff competition. I am very proud to announce that our members came back with 10 reserve champions, 12 champions, two reserve grand champions, two grand champions and the majority of our other members placed in the top 10!

  • McKenzie Albright won grand champion in all of the clothing projects with her beautiful Pride Pony Costume. She made a stunning vest, headpiece and wings.
  • Benjamin Elliott made a wonderful, tasty strudel bread that won grand champion for the foods and nutrition project.
  • Cheyanne Ford won reserve grand champion in artistic clothing with her beautiful embroidered red dress.
  • Lauren McCourt won reserve grand champion in leathercraft with her wallets and coasters. It was her first year doing leathercraft, and she blew us away with her leathercrafting skills.

The Colorado State Fair also offers many competitions that our members were able to participate in. We had two members participate in the Demonstration Contest. Brooklyn Brown won champion and Paycen Sutherlin won fourth place.

Our Shooting Sport teams did great at their fair competitions. Our junior archery team won champion in Olympic archery recurve and our junior .22 rifle sporter team won reserve champion. We had a few members place high as individuals as well. Paycen Sutherlin won fourth place in archery compound bow unlimited. Kanan Jensen won third place and Riley Hanson won fifth place in archery recurve.

We had two horsewomen compete at the state level. Piper Lang won seventh overall and Alex Chasse won eighth overall. The overall is calculated by combining scores from two written tests, all English classes, all Western classes and all speed events. It takes a lot of skill to do so well in one style of riding much less three styles and two knowledge tests.

We also had 23 4-H members take their livestock to the State Fair. Of those, 13 placed in their classes and we had two members, Bristol Lesky and Wyatt Swanemyr, qualify to sell their animals at the State Fair Junior Livestock Auction.

I could not be more proud of our 4-H members and all of their many accomplishments this year. Congratulations to all of our 4-H members, and I cannot wait to see what they accomplish next year.

Our new 2022-23 4-H year starts Oct. 1, where we will be continuing our mission to help youths acquire knowledge, develop life skills and form attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, successful and productive members of society.

If you or your children are interested in joining as a volunteer or 4-H member, please contact me at the La Plata County Extension Office.

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.