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Area 4-H, FFA students prepare for the Gage County Fair

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Thousands of static exhibits were prepped for display in the 4-H building of the Gage County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, as local 4-H and FFA students prepare for the Nebraska Strong ’21-themed events to start taking place.

Jacie Milius, a 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, said the kids can work on their projects throughout the year to ultimately be judged at the Gage County Fair. She said 2,000 exhibits were pre-entered this year, which typically makes up about 70% of the total projects shown.

Milius said with due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to tell how many static exhibits the fair will have this year. However, she said the quality of the projects has remained consistent.

“There’s a certain quality that goes with the 4-H exhibits that people kind of expect…But for the most part, people really do put a lot of effort into these 4-H projects, and do take great pride in what they do,” Milius said.

Milius explained that static exhibits focus on areas including plant sciences like horticulture, floriculture and agronomy, environmental education, and earth sciences like entomology, geology, conservation and wildlife.

“There’s photography and communications. There’s food and nutrition, which includes baking projects and also food preservation projects. There’s leadership and citizenship projects that they can enter in. Citizenship is kind of a big thing in this county,” Milius said. “We love it when kids are serving their community, and then they bring an exhibit to showcase what they did.”

Milius said there are also clothing-related projects. She used sewing as an example for the kids learning patience and grit, some of the life skills that the kids can ultimately learn from doing these exhibits.

The static exhibits were judged Tuesday afternoon and all day on Wednesday. As with the animal exhibits, kids will be awarded a ribbon based on their performance, with purple being outstanding, followed by blue, then red, then white.

The fair events culminated on Tuesday with the annual Ag Appreciation Barbecue in the main barn.

On Wednesday, there will be a broiler show in the poultry and rabbit barn at 4:30 p.m., a companion animal show and cat show at the Extension Office at 6p.m., a livestock judging contest at the main barn at 6:30p.m., and the Tuff Nuff Rodeo at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, the dairy show starts at the main barn at 8:30 a.m., the horse show will be at the horse arena at 10 a.m., the dairy goat show, bucket calf show, stocker-feeder show, llama and alpaca show, and sheep shows will take place in succession at the main barn between 11:30 a.m.-5:30p.m. There will also be a beer garden with entertainment by the band Escape starting at 8p.m.

On Friday, the beef shows start at the main barn at 8:30 a.m., the horse show starts at 9 a.m., the poultry shows will start at the poultry and rabbit barn at 1p.m., and the meat goat show starts at the main barn at 5 p.m. In the evening, there will be IMCA races at the grandstand, and a beer garden starting at 9 p.m. with music by Sundown Band.

On Saturday, the swine shows start at the main barn at 8 a.m., the rabbit show starts at the poultry and rabbit barn at 9a.m., the first Lego League demonstrations start at the 4-H building at 10 a.m., the elite showmanship will be at the main barn at 3p.m., and the 4-H All-Star awards will be at 4 p.m. in the 4-H building. There will also be the Eve of Destruction at the Beatrice Speedway at 7 p.m.

The main events end on Sunday, Aug. 1, with several events in the main barn, including a livestock parade of champions at 2 p.m., ag and farm family awards, friends of the fair awards and a presentation of scholarships at 2:30 p.m., and a market livestock auction at 3 p.m. In the evening, there will be Xtreme Monster Trucks at the grandstand at 6 p.m., and the DC Pride of Texas Carnival at the midway from 6-11 p.m.

More information and a full list of events can be found at


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