4-H, FFA students participate in Kansas State Fair


Junior Karli Neher shakes hands with one of the judges at the Kansas State fair.

Kansas held its annual state fair from Sept. 19-20 in Hutchinson. The state fair had many activities, including carnival rides, concerts, food and live animal shows.

FFA and 4-H are some organizations that are usually the most involved at the fair – FFA being a school organization and 4-H being an out-of-school organization.

In order to compete at the state fair, you must first be a member of a 4-H club, then compete in a county fair and earn a purple ribbon. The ribbons range from purple as the best, to white as the worst. There are also Grand Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons.

Junior Karli Neher has been showing animals in fairs for almost nine years at the Ellis County Fair and for six years at the Kansas State Fair. She was among the Hays High students who participated in the Kansas State Fair, entering two goats named Lolo and Princess and two lambs named Carol and Claud.

“Showing livestock is where animals are exhibited to show their strengths and qualities,” Neher said. “They are judged on structural correctness, muscling and overall breed characteristics. I also compete in showmanship, where individuals are judged on how they present their animals.”

FFA also helped at the state fair in the FFA barn by taking care of the animals and answering people’s questions as they came through the barn.

“We worked with FFA members across the state, greeted people as they came into the barn and helped by taking care of the animals by feeding them and washed them to keep them cool and clean,” junior Amelia Jaeger said.

In addition to being a member of Good Hope 4-H club and of Hays High’s FFA, Jaeger is an officer of the Northwest FFA District in Kansas.

“I think that FFA and 4-H have become big parts of my life because of all the time I’ve dedicated to them,” Jaeger said. “I also believe that participating in these things have taught me lessons that I will use later in life, like hard work and persistence.”

Junior Karli Neher shakes hands with one of the judges at the Kansas State fair.