For many years the students have shown livestock and other projects in countless fairs across the state. It’s a contest unlike any other. Most of the projects require many hours of time spent in the barn or Ag shop working on the projects over several months during a year.
Through this growth in the animal and the construction of the other projects also comes growth in the student. Attributes such as responsibility, discipline, perseverance, honor, and an appreciation for caring for something other than themselves are all learned through the process.
There are also tangible rewards for their efforts as some of the projects will sell at the end of the show during a buyer’s auction. This process is meant to provide money for next year’s project but also is intended to help fund further education and put a little extra money in the student’s pocket.
But perhaps what is sought after even more is the chance to take home “the Buckle and Banner”. The banner given to the Champion comes with a good-looking buckle that is proudly worn by the student. The Champion’s Banner is an iconic prize that symbolizes the very best in the show world and represents hard work, sacrifice, consistency, and a little bit of luck that all come together at the pinnacle of the show year… the County Fair.
Last week the students of Madison County proudly showed their projects over several days. Projects such as Food, Handicrafts, Art, Photography, Ag Mechanics, and Livestock were all put on display and exhibited by students from across the county. Each keeping their eye on the Banner hoping that this was their year.
A total of 290 students exhibited 815 different projects in this year’s fair! It takes an army of not only parents but also volunteers to make this fair successful.
Behind the scenes fair board members, moms and dads, Ag teachers and Extension Agents all put in many hours of preparation that in the end directly benefits these students.
This year Madison County Fair introduced a new support group to the fair, the Madison County Fair Ambassadors. These Ambassadors completed their first fair and were a great benefit and support to the fair board, the exhibitors and the fair patrons.
The Ambassadors are students who are there to not only support the fair committees and board members but are also there to help newer families, answer questions from patrons, help with organization and to be a positive role model to the younger students. 10 Ambassadors were chosen from a pool of applicants that were required to complete an essay form application and an interview in order to be chosen by a committee.
The Ambassador program was a great success this year and is just one more element provided by the fair that develops our students into successful adults.
If you would like more information about how to get involved or participate in the Madison County Fair please contact the Extension office at 936-348-2234.