4-H projects are tools for teaching young people life skills by developing their interests in certain areas. This is done through completing the following steps: 1) setting goals for learning; 2) planning and carrying out goals; 3) reflecting on experiences, and 4) keeping records about each project area. Upon completion of these 4 steps, the 4-H project is said to be complete. It is possible to complete a 4-H project without a fair exhibit. Exhibiting at fair without completing the steps above does not represent the goals of the 4-H program.
The Danish system of judging is used in the 4-H judging process; the youth’s exhibit is compared against a project standard. The purpose of the judging experience is to provide feedback regarding project skill mastery. All 4-H exhibits start at the red ribbon level. A red ribbon signifies that the project is average for the 4-Her’s age and skill level. There should be no shame in receiving a red ribbon; rather in the 4-H world, it means that the 4-Her is learning new skills and simply needs additional time and practice to master the new skill being learned. Simply entering an exhibit with the single goal of receiving a purple ribbon, that does not require learning new skills or demonstrate achieving skill mastery from the previous years, is not practicing the 4-H motto “To Make The Best, Better.” Some youth and their parents who prefer to focus only on competition rather than life skill development may be better served by other youth programs. The true purpose of a 4-H exhibit is to provide a representation of project work during the entire 4-H year.
|AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES||ANIMAL SCIENCES|
|Horticulture||Dairy Goats||Dog Care & Training|
|Plant Science||Horse||Meat Goats|
|CREATIVE ARTS||FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCES|
|Performing Arts||Clothing & Textiles||Food & Nutrition|
|Photography||Fiber Arts||Home Environment|
|Visual Arts||Health & Wellness||Place Setting|
|PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT||SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY|