For any of our families who may have missed the Post-Fair Meeting on October 4 but want to hear what was addressed, here is a brief update on what was covered during our meeting and discussion:
- Out of our 26 participating family units at the Cass County Fair, we received 7 survey responses (26.9% response rate). These families had an overall neutral or positive response when asked if their family felt welcomed into a positive environment at the fair and how their judging and learning experience was during the showcases. Families shared similar feelings of being happy to be back at the fair this year. Thank you to all that helped contribute to this positive learning experience for our youth!
- All responding families stated that they would be willing to volunteer next year and agreed that role-specific training would be helpful, which is good news as we think about expanding our volunteer pool for next year’s fair! As we hope to grow our program in Cass County, we will be needing an ever-growing group of volunteers who support our program.
- One of the big concerns addressed at our meeting was around communications from 4-H to our families. To address these concerns, we are looking at ways to improve our methods of sharing expectations while at the fair as well as last-minute changes.
- In thinking of expectations, we will be planning to revamp and reintroduce Herdsmanship and an Awards Ceremony - both of which were missed during this last year. We will be relying on our Committees and PDCs to help get the ball rolling on these two items in preparation for next year’s fair. If you’re interested in joining a Committee or PDC, please let Brooke know as we’d love to have your input in the important decisions these groups make!
- In addition to the survey responses, we also reached out to our County Extension Committee (CEC) and the Cass County Fairboard to see where we can improve for next year. Here is some of their feedback that was shared at the meeting:
- The CEC would like to see our 4-H Building be open and staffed, by Extension staff or volunteers, during all hours of fair operation.
- The CEC would also like to have enough youth participation (exhibits shared) to surpass the $8,000 budget set aside by the county for 4-H premiums and judges fees. We hope that our members and clubs can help us promote 4-H to bring more youth to enroll in the program, and encourage youth to share their learning by bringing completed projects to the fair for judging and exhibiting.
- The Fairboard echoed two of the concerns addressed in our survey responses in sharing the desire to bring back Herdsmanship with the help of our Livestock and Horse PDCs as well as stating the need for improved communications well in advance of the fair.
- The potential to have shavings for our barns be delivered earlier for our youth’s animals was also discussed with the Fairboard. These two potential options were discussed to make this a possibility: 1) having youth prepare their stalls on the day of fairgrounds clean-up (Monday) or 2) having a 4-H project be to build a small shelter to store the shavings and protect them from the rain.
For questions or comments contact:
Extension Educator, Cass County
4-H Youth Development