95th exhibition kicked off Monday
OXFORD – Eighteen-year-old Mark Morgan is making a grand return to the Cumberland County Exhibition as a member of his local 4-H Club.
Morgan was unable to participate in last year’s festivities due to back surgery as a result of scoliosis that he had been dealing with for some time.
As a participant in this year’s exhibition, Morgan will be showing his dog, a jersey cow, a beef cow and a guinea pig in select competitions.
“It’s good to be back doing something I love,” Morgan said.
Over the next two days, members of local 4-H clubs, such as Morgan will be participating in the 95th county exhibition for an opportunity to advance further and showcase their projects at the provincial level.
3-Way 4-H Club leader John Siddall said the exhibition is a significant event in the county, especially for 4-H. It’s a pretty big deal for members as it gives them a sense of pride with what they’ve accomplished with their projects.
“It’s a place where members can compete and show off their projects.”
4-H is often considered an agricultural program when really it’s more of an educational program. It benefits youth as they develop skills that are considered useful in the workforce.
“A lot of people think 4-H is an agriculture organization but it’s much more. It’s designed for anybody and everybody,” Siddall said.
Members attend monthly meetings, discuss important dates and fundraise. There’s a large emphasis on public speaking and judging, especially at the competition level.
At the beginning of each year members are required to select a project. Techniques are then developed and used to separate projects from one competitor to the other.
Projects can be anything from cake decorating and photography to poultry and beef.
“There are a lot of different projects now,” Siddall said.
By the time the exhibition roles around, projects are judged and competed against.
There are three levels of competition. There’s Achievement Day, where 4-H members display and demonstrate the projects they’ve been working on for the year, within their own club.
The next level of competition is at the county level, this is where the exhibition is involved. Two of each class then move on to the provincial competition.
The final level is the Royal, the national 4-H show. This level is only attributed to dairy and beef projects, in addition to a young speakers competition.
Siddall has been associated with 4-H for 20 years now and said he’s enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’ve gone through the whole system and I love it,” he said.