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4-H at the 2015 New York State Fair

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Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett visits with 4-H members at the State Fair.

Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett visits with 4-H members at the State Fair.

As always, the 4-H building at the New York State Fair was lively with activity and VIP guests. The ever-popular Dairy Cattle Birthing Center featured many 4-H youth with their cows. Visitors could view a domed incubator with hatching chicks. Another favorite annual event, the Robotics Challenge had teams competing for prizes. For the Junior Iron Chef competition, youth took Fair foods with little nutritional value and added healthy ingredients to create a new, tasty, and nutritional dish. A Fashion Revue featured runway models working 4-H youth designer creations.

Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett stopped by the 4-H Youth Building and was interviewed by 4-H members, saying,

[This is] a great opportunity to learn leadership skills, gain confidence and the ability to speak in public, and to think on your feet. It’s really great to see how many women are involved in 4-H – along with some terrific young men. My sister was involved in 4-H … and it seems to me it’s really changing from how I knew it 30 or more years ago. It has many more women involved than when I remember – and I’d like to see that continue.

College of Human Ecology Dean Alan Mathios also dropped in and was interviewed by 4-H youth.

Nearby the Fashion Revue Cornell researchers offered a glimpse of fashions and fabrics of the future including clothing that illuminates in sync with sound. Juan Hinestroza, associate professor of fiber science and apparel design, showcased work from his Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory, including functional cotton that repels bacteria, eliminates noxious gases, and conducts electricity.

4-H Media Corps interview with Juan Hinestroza:

The New York State 4-H Facebook page has many more videos from the Fair, including the Fashion Revue, Robotics Challenge, and Dog Show.


Garrett savors New York State Fair's Cornell connections - Cornell Chronicle
Future fabrics dazzle at New York State Fair - Cornell Chronicle


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4-H at the 2013 State Fair

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NYS FAIRIn 2013 the New York State Fair (NYS Fair) opened an exhibit in the Grange Building celebrating its history. That exhibit included a video created by 4-H Youth Development showing 4-H presence at the State Fair over the years (see below).

4-H youth development plays an integral role in shaping communities across New York State. For twelve days 4-H'ers from around New York state have come together to work and play as exhibitors, members of Press Corps, and Junior Superintendents at the State Fair. Educators and 4-H'ers alike demonstrated their skills and earned recognition in 4-H's three mission mandate focus areas: civic engagement, healthy living, and science, technology, engineering, and math.

4-H  fair exhibit evaluations are based on the Danish system of judging. Within the Danish system, each exhibit is compared to the ideal for that exhibit given the exhibitor’s experience and age. Exhibits are not placed in a ranking, rather each item is judged on its own merit. Participants receive either a blue ribbon (excellent), red ribbon (good), or white ribbon (worthy work). The emphasis is placed on learning. 4-H'ers who do exceptional work earn purple rosettes.

In Press Corps, 4-H'ers capture the magic of the 4-H exhibits in the youth building by writing articles and taking photos. Check out the results and the news articles by 4-H'ers from the state fair.

For more information on New York State 4-H and their programs, check out their website , contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H office, like 4-H on Facebook and follow 4-H on Twitter.

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