BUCYRUS — From sewing to photography and cooking, there are many projects racking up awards for 4-H members that do not involve animals.
Kaleen Pratt, 11, is a member of the Kilbourne Klovers 4-H Club, and in her three years-worth of fair projects, has never embarked on one that required an animal.
“I have done projects about animals, but have never done a project that required an an actual animal,” she said.
Pratt is headed to the state fair this year after scoring an A on her project about Ohio birds.
“I did other projects including a demonstration on how to make power bars and a babysitting-related one. I have learned so much from the projects I have completed,” Pratt said.
Although 10-year-old Hattie Crabtree has larger animal projects at the fair this year, she completed and aced several other projects, including one on photography and one that includes a cat.
“I took a small animal project which included my cat,” said Hattie as she hung the ribbons she has won at this year’s fair in her booth.
Her 17-year-old sister, Hannah Crabtree, cannot say enough about the benefits of 4-H.
“I have learned so much in my nine years in 4-H and have had so many opportunities because of 4-H. I have gone to C-Camp, learned leadership skills, shown cattle and completed many projects that have taught me so many skills that I can use in the future,” said Hannah.
The girls’ mother, Shawn Crabtree, said she has five kids and they are all involved in 4-H.
“4-H is very educational. It teaches the kids to not only complete projects on their own but to work together as a team,” said Shawn.
Eight-year-old Bailey Rossman is showing her pig at the fair this year for the first time.
“I got my pig in the spring. I had to water and feed him and wash him,” she said.
Rossman said she has also created art projects for the fair.
“They are in display in the art building,” Rossman said.
This year’s fair kicked off Sunday with attendance up from last year.
“We had 3,605 people pay at the gate which is up 300 from last year on the first day of the fair,” said Rececca Starner, secretary and manager of the Crawford County Fair Board.
Starner said the demolition derby on Sunday evening drew in more cars than recent years with 72 entries, up from 30 last year.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras