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This week at the Chaffee County Fair the agenda shifts to focus on the county’s 4-Hers.

For those who may not have grown up in rural areas and who may not be familiar with 4-H, it is a U.S.-based network of youth organizations whose mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development”. Its name is a reference to the occurrence of the initial letter H four times in the organization’s original motto “head, heart, hands, and health”, which was later incorporated into the fuller pledge officially adopted in 1927.

For 4-Hers, county fairs are the culmination of what can be months-long projects, and depending upon the outcome of the county fair, can launch a youth toward exhibiting at the state fair.

The Trail Competition begins at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 25. From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. is the designated check-in time for 4-H & Open Class Rabbit and 4-H Meat Poultry entries.

Rabbits awaiting judging at the 2019 Chaffee County Fair (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

Wednesday, July 26 begins with the 4-H Market Livestock weigh-in from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The weights are recorded in preparation for the all-important Junior Market Livestock Sale coming up on Friday evening.

At 9:00 a.m. the Exhibit Hall opens to the public. The  4-H Meat Poultry Judging begins at 2:00 p.m. followed by the Open Rabbit Judging.

Then at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 the major event of the day begins in the main arena; the Equine Gymkhana.

The carnival will run throughout the fair, located in the parking lot area on the west side of the fairgrounds. This year it includes a double slide and something called an “animal spin.”

Remember that other than last weekend’s CPRA Rodeo, every day at the fair is free.

Stay tuned for the events coming up Thursday, July 27, which is Senior’s Day at the Fair.

Editor’s note: 4-H is near and dear to Ark Valley Voice Publisher/Managing Editor Jan Wondra, who spent her youth in a Wisconsin 4-H Club where was elected president, and both competed in apparel competition and showed cattle at the Wisconsin State Fair. As a 4-H Junior Leader, she attended the 4-H Citizenship Shortcourse training at the 4-H Center Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.