Horsemanship competition

Wilhelmina Gower participates in horse showmanship. 

The fair is a big part of the 4-H program for many youths. If you were able to attend the fair and go up into the Upper Totem building and see projects that youth have worked on this past year, they were amazing. Then a stroll out to the barns showed the fun animals that many like to see. The quality of the market animals raised for auction was outstanding.

If you moved a little farther down the aisle between the green stalls on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you caught our horse youth showing off their stuff. Then there were those who participated in contests that happened before and during the fair, such as the bake-off and home garden tour. It was a great time for all and we were all happy to be back and participating after doing our quiet exhibition last year with limited numbers. I was so happy to see our youth enjoying themselves and showing what they had done and learned over the year. But to get there takes a lot of work and support.

Let’s also talk about all those youth who choose not to exhibit at the fair, but yet have completed wonderful 4-H projects and do amazing things. Applause goes out to them for all their hard work and outstanding efforts.

As I look back over the year and a half and the struggles that many of us have had to get to where we are today, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone.

First, thank you to the youth who started and completed projects both in 2020 and 2021. Thank you for sticking through it and for being a part of our 4-H program.

To the parents who support their youth and take them to and from club meetings and help them with their projects as needed, thank you. For encouraging your youth and helping them with their record books — you are amazing. 4-H is truly a family program.

Next, thank you to all the leaders who painlessly do all the trainings each year so they can help the youth learn about different things and for sharing your knowledge and skills with all these youth.

A big thank you to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for housing the Cooperative Extension Service, which is what 4-H is under. Thanks for helping us with mitigation plans and making sure our program can continue and be safe.

To the Tanana Valley State Fair for its support of the 4-H program and putting on the fair for our youth to be able to showcase the projects they work hard on all year, thank you.

For all those who come out and watch and support the youth wherever they exhibit their project, thank you.

Thank you to those individuals and businesses who purchase animals through the 4-H/FFA market livestock auction.

To all the community businesses who support 4-H with donations and contributions over the years, thank you.

The city of Fairbanks and the North Star Borough and its communities and others down to Tok over to Healy and north, you are all wonderful and our program would not be where we are without each and every one of you. From the bottom of my heart and the program I represent, I want to say thank you for all you have done and will yet do for us.

4-H is a youth organization for youth K-12 that helps youth learn about certain items of interest to them, but also teaches them life skills. 4-H has a club structure with leaders who are adult volunteers with current background checks. To learn more about the local program, contact Marla Lowder, Tanana District 4-H agent, at 474-2427. You can also check out our web page at www.alaska4h.org/fairbankstanana-district.html. 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.