4-H Virtual Showcase provides youth chance to show animals
The coronavirus pandemic has put many live action events on hiatus such as county and state fairs, but 4-H groups came up with alternative plans such as the 4-H Virtual Showcase in Yellow Medicine and Lyon Counties to recognize the innovative skills of today's youth.
Last week, Yellow Medicine County 4-H'ers shared their skills and accomplishments with judges in a modified showcase environment. The annual 4-H general exhibit show and livestock shows took place online using photos and videos.
Two of those participating were Minneota's Grady Moorse and his younger sister Brooke.
Grady, who recently graduated from Minneota High School, won Overall Dairy Cow for his Brown Swiss named Stella; and Overall Dairy Goat for his Alpine named Teagan.
Brooke, who will be a junior this fall, won Junior Champion for her Alpine dairy goat named Precious, who was also honorable mention overall. Archie, a Mini Lop rabbit, placed Grand Champion and overall.
Brooke's dairy Jersey heifer named Finesse placed Reserve Champion overall and Junior Champion. Rubix Cube, a Jersey Wooly rabbit, placed champion and reserve overall. And Shay, a Saanen dairy goat, placed reserve.
"I decided to do the showcase because to me it was not difficult," said Grady, a 14-year veteran of 4-H. "Along with the fact that I just love to be around the animals that I show."
"Four-H has always been important to me and my family," said Brooke, who has been involved in 4-H for 11 years. "So it would’ve felt weird not doing something involving 4-H."
Those is 4-H can be in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) and the youth can choose whatever subject they want to learn about when participating.
"To participate in the virtual showcase, 4-H'ers uploaded photos and videos based on the requirement of their projects," said Leah Polejewski, Yellow Medicine and Lyon County 4-H Program Associate. "They also answered questions related to their subject so the judge could get a better sense of their learning."
Questions ranged from what the 4-Hers have learned, facts about their animals, their goals in the project, how they took care of their animal and more.
Videos on each animal were required to be between 60 and 90 seconds.
While Grady and Brooke showed their animals, their mother, Becky, taped them.
"We had to show the identification which was either a tattoo or ear tag, a side view, front view, rear view, and then a view from above," Grady explained about the virtual showing.
"We also had to include us walking our animals and setting them up," added Brooke.
With an obvious passion for their animals, the Moorses missed out on showing at the county and state fairs this summer. Grady has shown at county fairs for 14 years and state fairs for six years. Brooke had been showing at county fairs for 11 years and has attended the state fair as a showman four of the five years she could attend.
"I will miss seeing people who I haven't seen in awhile, the memories you make, and the different foods that you get to have," Grady said, when asked what he will miss most about the state fair.
"I will miss being able to hang out with other 4-H'ers and being able to talk to the public about agriculture," Brooke noted.
Being able to participate in a virtual showcase at least gave the youth to show and talk about the animals they are so fond of.
"This has been a challenging year for 4-H’ers," said Polejewski. "We’re truly proud of how they’ve risen to the occasion to help make their showcases happen. We’ve seen some amazing displays of ingenuity."
Editor's Note: Anyone from the area who participated in the Virtual Showcase from Lyon or Yellow Medicine County and wants to be recognized for their accomplishment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State Fair Showcase will be held later this month and it will be