With all of the Wadena County 4-Hers showcasing their hard work, 19 placed at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.

“This year wasn’t what we all thought it was going to be but we didn’t let it stop us from letting us do what we like to do in 4-H,” said Breh Hopp.

For Breh, it was making her own quilt for her dorm room instead of winding up with the same one as her roommate. She has been creating quilts with 4-H since the seventh grade and completed her first trip for a quilt project virtually to the state fair this year. Breh is a freshman at the University of Minnesota Rochester and Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences for respiratory therapy.

Breh Hopp created a gray and purple full-size quilt with a bob and weave pattern. She long-arm quilted it at the Gray Horse Quilt Shop in Wadena and received a purple ribbon at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.
Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H
Breh Hopp created a gray and purple full-size quilt with a bob and weave pattern. She long-arm quilted it at the Gray Horse Quilt Shop in Wadena and received a purple ribbon at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H

Kira Vergin competes in the commercial cow/calf pair at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.
Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H
Kira Vergin competes in the commercial cow/calf pair at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H

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In her fourth state fair run, Kira Vergin described the first day as “amazing” with her win as grand champion for her cow/calf pair. Their family has 25 cow/calf pairs with Vergin having one cow, one cow/calf pair and a heifer. Both her mom, Amanda, and stepdad, Derek Vergin are also on the Wadena County fair board.

“He (Derek) got me into showing and I just fell in love with it,” Vergin said of her start in 4-H showing about four to five years ago.

While there were a “lot less people” at the fair, Vergin was excited to return for the champion drive on Friday, Aug. 27 and showmanship on Saturday. She said her showmanship skills have improved since “usually I never get called back.”

“I’ve learned that I need to relax a little more and stay a little more calm so that the animal doesn’t get worked up so I don’t get worked up and get nervous, and so that I can pay more attention to the judge,” Vergin said about her showmanship skills.

Mazie Hopp presents her Minnesota conifers project at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. She received a blue ribbon for forest resources and a blue ribbon for her Kalimba demonstration. 
Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H
Mazie Hopp presents her Minnesota conifers project at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. She received a blue ribbon for forest resources and a blue ribbon for her Kalimba demonstration. Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H

From not knowing what her projects could show before the county fair in June to her second time at the state fair, Mazie Hopp shared a forestry project on Minnesota’s conifers as well as a demonstration on the Kalimba (finger piano).

“For my demonstration, I learned a few tips on public speaking and what to do to make that better and to feel more confident while doing it,” Mazie said.

The 4-Hers appreciate the specific comments from judges along with learning from their fellow competitors. They have days filled with judging in the 4-H building, like Olivia and Clara Neal said along with a friend who participated in judging from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. one day.

In her first year of being old enough to compete at the fair, Clara Neal shared her strawberry rhubarb jam after earning reserve champion at the county level. She said their family does a lot of food preservation. Olivia photographed their cat Waldo and had fun editing the image on her computer. Next year she hopes to experiment with different types of art, photography and editing, and maybe even a food preservation research project.

Wadena County 4-Her Olivia Neal submitted a photograph of their family cat Waldo. She received a blue ribbon at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. 
Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H
Wadena County 4-Her Olivia Neal submitted a photograph of their family cat Waldo. She received a blue ribbon at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Contributed / University of Minnesota Extension - Wadena County 4-H

“I really want to try some of the things that I saw at the fair. There was so much cool stuff at the 4-H building like there was different types of art, like ones where they’ll have two canvases and then one picture between all of it and it was actually really inspiring,” Olivia said.

The results are as follows:

Kira Vergin: Grand Champion cow/calf pair

Jayma Lawson: Purple ribbon demonstration, blue ribbon science of animals project, red ribbon meat goat

Kaleah Miller: Red ribbon meat goat

Amber Lalum: Blue ribbon small senior buck rabbit

Mazie Hopp: Blue ribbon demonstration, blue ribbon forest resources

Rachael Smith: Blue ribbon clothes you buy

Kevin Dailey: Blue ribbon computer project

Clara Neal: Red ribbon food preservation

Mattea Smith: Blue ribbon home environment

Coleen Malone: Blue ribbon indoor gardening

Tegan Kempenich: Blue ribbon pets

Emma Jackson: Blue ribbon photography

Olivia Neal: Blue ribbon photography

Breh Hopp: Purple ribbon quilt

Chloe Horstmann: Blue ribbon self determined

Jotham Walsvik: Blue ribbon wildlife management

James Seelhammer: Blue ribbon shop

Ambitious 4-H Club (Kyrstin Beyatt and Kendal Beyatt): Blue ribbon community pride

4 Corners 4-H Club: Red ribbon club banner

The Wadena County 4-H state horse team also includes Faith Koning, Hailey Schleder, Chloee Faus, Grace Mindermann and Hattie Hanninen. The horse show is Sept. 17-20 at the Minnesota State Fair. You can watch the show online at z.umn.edu/321statehorselivestream.