About 1,700 4-H exhibits are expected to be on display during the Stevens County Fair Aug. 6-11 in Morris, 4-H program director Kirsten Koch said.
The number includes livestock and general exhibits brought by about 180 kids, she said.
Koch said the number of exhibits and participating 4-H members at the fair has been steady over the past several years.
What has changed is interest in different projects.
“The rabbit project has really grown,” Koch said. “We will have about 100 rabbits at the fair.”
Koch said the are popular because “Anyone can have a rabbit.”
The rabbit show is on Wednesday, Aug. 7. While it’s one of the first 4-H shows of the fair, the horse show is Saturday, Aug. 3, at the fairgrounds horse arena., several days before the actual start of the fair.
The 4-H exhibit building opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7. “All the animals have to be in place by 9 a.m. Thursday (Aug. 8),” Koch said.
Koch said 4-H continues to be popular in the county for several reasons. “We really have a lot of community support,” Koch said. 4-H is also a family activity, she said.
“Everyone can be involved in 4-H,” Koch said. Kids can choose different activities but meetings and the fair are in one place,”instead of going here or there for different activities,” Koch said.
Koch took the job as 4-H program coordinator 15 years ago because she was passionate about 4-H. Fifteen years later, the passion is still there, Koch said.
“It’s fun to see how much kids grow and learn,” Koch said. “I’ve been involved long enough where I see the kids of 4-H members....”
Livestock and non-livestock projects are mainstays of the fair and so is the 4-H food stand. Koch said the food stand at the fair started many years ago as a way to feed the 4-H families. It’s changed to become a major way to raise money for the county 4-H program.
It’s a tradition for 4-H families to work at least one three to five hour shift serving, cleaning or helping to cook, Koch said. And it’s become a tradition for many fair goers to eat at the stand.
The food stand opens at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug., 8, and closes at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.