By Dustyn Fatheree
TERRE HAUTE —
4-H judging began Friday as participants showed off their finished projects for judges in hopes of grabbing the grand champion title.
Friday involved contestants in photography, arts and crafts, shooting sports, gift wrapping, sewing, farm scene and recycling, said Krista Farthing, extension educator with 4-H youth development. The grand champions will be announced Sunday as the 2013 Vigo County Fair begins.
Among the contestants hoping to nab the grand champion spot for wood working, model crafts or shooting sports is Greg Bays, 12. Bays said his favorite event is model crafts, where he hand-built a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda model.
“It started as a bunch of small pieces and I took around one hour out of the day for a week to glue and paint it,” he said.
Bays was accompanied by his mother, Erin Bays, 31, of Vigo County who has also been involved with 4-H.
Erin Bays was a participant from 1989 to 1999 showing horses, shirt paintings, ceramics and vegetables. “It kept me busy and surrounded by good people,” she said. So with the same motive in mind, she got her son involved with the program three years ago.
Another parent who got his children involved with the program is Bill Bradbury, 34, of Terre Haute. Bradbury was involved with 4-H from 1987 to 1997 and participated in models, consumer clothing, showing pigs, goats and “little critters.” Pig showing was always his favorite, he said, but the experience he gained has value to this day.
“I learned to interact with people from all over the county that I wouldn’t normally see,” he said.
Bradbury has two children who are now involved in 4-H — Alexandra, 10, and Byron, 13, Bradbury. Combined, the Bradbury kids entered about 15 different categories including photography, cake decorating, arts and crafts, pig showing and models — which is Byron’s favorite event.
Byron built a before and after replica of the Titanic wreck that took about a week. The top of the model has a fractured ship as it began to break in the middle after impacting the iceberg. The bottom of the model shows the fragmented remains of the once floating boat sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
“I had to use a lot of small parts and place them on the top with tweezers,” he said. “The bottom wasn’t as difficult because there wasn’t as many small parts.”
Participants approached judges at tables one at a time and explained their projects and how they built them.
“I think it is valuable for children to be put on the spot by the judges who ask questions about their projects,” Bill Bradbury said. “It shows them how to deal with pressure and a lot of children don’t get that experience so young.”
After the judges verify the project is up to requirements, a sticker is placed on their tag.
Today, judges will meet to further discuss who the champions of each category will be. The champion and grand champion will be announced Sunday and will be in the display of champions during the county fair.
The kick off of the 2013 Vigo County Fair will be at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds with the 4-H horse and pony show. Events will run through July 13.
Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached at 812-231-4255 and firstname.lastname@example.org.