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Prepare to enter 4-H Fair online
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

I ran across an inspirational quote a few days ago that says:

Remember most of your stress comes from the way you respond, not the way life is. Adjust your attitude. Change how you see things. Look for the good in all situations. Take the lesson and find new opportunities to grow. Let all the extra stress, worrying, and over-thinking go.

I like this sentiment especially in this time of unsettledness. I know that there have been a lot of questions in our communities about county fairs. While I cannot speak for the Barton County Fair Association, I’d like to share the letter that was sent to our 4-H families last week.

1) Take a deep breath and then do a Happy Dance because we are celebrating the learning and work of our 4-H members!

2) Entries will work the same as previous years. The Barton Co Fair Board is updating their website and the online entry will be accessible very soon at

3) For all exhibits – Static and Livestock – the focus will be on what the 4-H youth has learned in the past year.

4) For inside/static exhibits – We will be using an application called Flip Grid! You will be receiving a training video all about Flip Grid by the end of May. After we have received entries, you will receive Flip Codes for your project departments. 

a. Best Practices – you will upload a 3-10 minute video (depending on the department); use the first 1-2 minutes to show your project in detail (bottoms of cookies, seams of constructed garments; walking the fashion revue pattern). Use the remaining time in the video to talk about what you learned similar to what you would tell a judge (nutritional info; garment care and cost of wear; wood working tools you learned to use).

b. Best Practices – this may be the year to not enter 40 things! If you typically enter projects in 4 different departments, you may want to only have 1-2 entries in each department (Foods – one baked item; Photography – two photos; Horticulture – one set of veggies. This is only a suggestion; entry limits have not changed).

c. Each 4-H member will receive written and video feedback from the judge to the email they use when starting. This keeps feedback private. We have added a disclosure to the entry forms regarding sharing of your video entry as both the Cottonwood Extension District and the Barton County Fair Association would like to share your project entries publicly. If you are not comfortable with this, please be sure to mark the appropriate spot on the entry form.

d. There will be a few classes that are not available this year. We are making every attempt to update the fair book to match the options in Flip Grid for your entries.

5) For livestock shows – A schedule of livestock shows will be sent out very soon. ***Please note that this information could change if notice is received from KDHE, Barton County Health Department/Emergency Management, and Kansas 4-H.***

a. Each species show will be held on a separate day.

b. There will be no stalling on site; animals will only come onto the grounds for the day of the species show and all prep work should be completed prior to arrival (wash racks will not be available).

c. Spectators will not be permitted in order to maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines. Whether you like these guidelines or not, you are asked to politely comply in order for the live show to occur. Managing the numbers of youth, parents, fair board and extension staff is extremely important and we need to handle ourselves as the best representation of the 4-H Pledge.

d. There will be no Round Robin at the fair as there is no way to accomplish showing multiple species.

e. Plans are in the works for a premium auction which would be held virtually/online. Video of each animal will be captured during the live shows to use during the online auction. Every effort is being made for this to happen but is not guaranteed at this point.

6) The 4-H BBQ will be rescheduled to a date in the fall. We are potentially looking at National 4-H Week and the BBQ Committee are working to put plans in place.

7) Concessions – there will be no concessions available during the livestock shows.

8) Other events – there may be other events as managed by the Barton County Fair Association.

Please know that every decision was made with our 4-H youth in mind. Keeping 4-H families safe and healthy is our top priority while providing an opportunity for learning feedback. 

Be excited about the things we can do to celebrate and showcase 4-H learning! 

Keep learning, keep showing grace and kindness.

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.