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Winners were evident everywhere at the Gage County Fair, from the 4-H and FFA exhibitors, to the donors, to the hundreds of volunteers, to the management of the fair. The number one reason on the “top ten reasons county fairs are successful” is the volunteers who give so generously of your time and talents. The success of the fair is 100% dependent on volunteers. You set up, take entries, make displays, run gates, announce, clean up the grounds, and much more. You are the ones who make this event great.

Congratulations to exhibitors, families and participants. You exhibited sportsmanship, teamwork, and positive character. Parents are priceless in the 4-H program, giving time to your children and other children throughout the year and during fair week to help them learn life skills. The Gage County Fair & Expo is a celebration of what 4-H and FFA youth have achieved, the showcase for youth to share what they’ve learned. Participation in a county fair has been shown to develop leadership skills, character, life skills, positive relationships, decision making, goal setting and working together.

4-H and FFA youth exhibited over 1,000 livestock, poultry, rabbits, small pets, and horse events. Signs in the livestock barns read “Many champions pass through this barn but the best of all are the kids who work in it.” Exhibits in the 4-H Building totaled nearly 2,100 entries. These exhibitors will remember purple ribbons and the thrill of the trophy, as well as the red ribbons and life lessons.

The support of award donors is vital to the recognition of the success of 4-H and FFA youth. Our thanks to over 150 businesses and organizations in the county who give so generously. Thanks for believing in the value of rewarding youth for their accomplishments.

Thanks to the Gage County Ag Society and spouses for your hard work, time, energy, and love of kids. Please thank them for bringing us one of the best county fairs in Nebraska. Ag Society pays for over $9,000 in judges fees and over $23,000 in exhibitors premium money.

Together we created another spectacular community celebration, joining thousands of others since the first Gage County Fair in 1871. Mother Nature played her hand in the gift of the most beautiful fair days on record. “Memories Never Fade” is more than our theme - we celebrated agriculture, friends, fair food, life skills, exhibits, entertainment, and so many memories. The best thing about memories is making them!

A dad summed up the fair experience

"I have yet to attend any activity that boasts as much community support, creates so many hours of quality family time, and has a higher percentage of kids who understand the value of character, competition, sportsmanship, hard work and having fun. The support network of family and community enables kids to have the experience of a lifetime, right here in our own backyard.”

Livestock premium auction

The fair ended Sunday with an amazing Parade of Champions, photos of 2018 $1,000 plus auction donors, scholarship awards, and the 2019 Market Livestock Premium Auction. Thanks to individuals, businesses and organizations showing your support of 4-H and FFA exhibitors. Nearly one hundred 4-H and FFA members were a part of the auction with donations for market beef, sheep, swine and goat exhibitors totaling over $50,000. Thanks to The Auctioneers, Dennis Henrichs, Rick Jurgens, and Gale Hardin for making the auction a fun event. Thanks to Cargill, K-Kim Cattle & Catering, Kevin Kimmerling, Classic Catering, Bev Acton, and Farm Credit Services of America for sponsoring the fabulous prime rib dinner for exhibitors, families, and buyers. Thanks to the volunteers who assisted the Ag Society in the event.

Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska State Fair is a grand affair in Grand Island, Aug. 23 to Sept. 2. Congratulations to 4-H youths with purple ribbon exhibits in the 4-H Building selected for the State Fair. We remind you that exhibits must be at the Extension Office by Tuesday, Aug. 20, 5:30 p.m. Extension staff will transport to Grand Island the following day.

It’s time for school

Mothers are rejoicing, kids might be a little less excited. Charlie Brown says, you can’t be a failure if you have kindness, honesty, and compassion. Think about this: Some kids are smarter than you. Some kids have cooler clothes than you. Some kids are better at sports than you. It doesn’t matter. You have your thing too. Be the kid who can get along. Be the kid who is generous. Be the kid who is happy for others. Be the kid who does the right thing. Be the nice kid. Remember everybody, It’s cool to be kind!

Save the Date – Gage County Fair & Expo – July 22 – 26, 2020.

Simple Inspirations: Excellence in exhibits and pride in themselves and their work ethic was evident at the Gage County Fair. I like this quote by Michael Josephson (Character Counts): “If you don’t take pride in what you do, it’s impossible to take pride in what you are.”

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