Hundreds of 4-H youth from across New York State showed off their skills and accomplishments at the State Fair this year in everything from a fashion review to cooking competitions, a robotics challenge and the traditional animal exhibitions.
Human Ecology Interim Dean Rachel Dunifon toured the 4-H Youth Building, enjoying the embryology exhibit and testing out virtual reality glasses. She was joined by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ronald P. Lynch Dean Kathryn Boor and Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Chris Watkins.
“I loved the chance to tour the 4-H building, talking with my incredibly impressive tour guide, holding baby chicks, and getting a sense of the breadth and impact of the 4-H program across the state,” Dunifon said.
Also notable this year, New York State 4-H and Future Farmers of America, or FFA, hosted a special day to highlight their organizations. The day included presentations by youth focused on Science Technology Engineering and Math, or STEM, animal science and healthy living and an ice cream social.
This year, New York State 4-H added an “Activity Zone” to the youth building, which provided fairgoers a chance to participate in activities related to 4-H values, including robotics demonstrations, a reading nook and a project to make quilts for children who are seriously ill or experience trauma.
4-H Youth participated in every division of animal science exhibition including horses, dairy and beef cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs and poultry.
4-H partners from the Cornell campus participated by providing demonstrations including Planetary Imaging, the Paleontological Research Institute and Cornell iGem, a team of undergraduates that use find biological solutions to important problems.
“We are working closely with our local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices to ensure that he State Fair is a showcase for the diversity of New York’s 4-H program, puts young people out in front and provides them with a valuable learning experience,” said Andy Turner, director of 4-H in New York State. “Our Cornell partners have been right behind us in this effort, helping create pathways for youth to explore, experiment and step onto STEM pathways that can lead to college and career opportunities down the road.”