ADRIAN — The public may not get to attend a Nobles County Fair in Worthington this week, but 4-H members are entering their projects and livestock for conference judging and competitions in a modified Achievement Days format.
Nobles County is one of about 10 counties across the state to host in-person judging for 4-H exhibitors, but it took a commitment from a bevy of volunteers to make it happen. From 4-H families and alumni to grandparents and 4-H supporters, people stepped up to help with everything from taking temperatures to sanitizing restrooms, directing trailers and assisting judges.
Among those volunteering this week are the Dan and Monica Horn family of Adrian. Their three children — Jonathan, Joshua and Jocelyn — will be the faces behind the iPad today through Friday as they stream the beef, dairy, goat, poultry, rabbit, swine and sheep shows on Facebook Live. Viewers can find the link at dglobe.com, or on the Nobles County 4-H Facebook page.
Nineteen-year-old Jonathan, who graduated from Nobles County 4-H in 2019, is taking the lead in the community service project — bringing the shows to the public in a year when only 4-H exhibitors, their immediate family and volunteers are allowed on the fairgrounds due to the global pandemic.
“We wanted to do it and they know I know about computers,” Jonathan said.
Computer, video, photography and robotics were among his primary projects during his nine years as a member of the Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club.
“I enjoy that people will get to see it and it’s just nice to help out and volunteer,” he added. “People can be part of the action.”
Jonathan will begin his second year at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, this fall, where he’s pursuing a double major in network and security administration and cyber operations. He hopes to one day become a network administrator.
For the Horns, who have never exhibited animals at the fair, watching from the stands inside Olson Arena will be a new experience for them.
“We don’t do anything in livestock because we’re very involved in non-livestock projects,” shared Jocelyn, who participated in conference judging on Monday with four in-person judging events (the maximum for any 4-H’er, with virtual judging done if they had more than four projects). She also entered 18 projects through the online judging format Flipgrid.
Joshua, meanwhile, did four in-person judging events — including a computer project in which he built his own computer — and had six projects judged through Flipgrid.
“I’ve done some video projects in the past and that will help me with (live streaming), and also photography,” said Joshua, a seven-year 4-H member. He and Jonathan both filmed Adrian Dragon football games as football managers — something Joshua hopes to continue if there’s a football season this fall.
Jocelyn, in her sixth year of 4-H, said she’ll be able to help troubleshoot if something goes wrong during the live streaming, and she has also learned a lot through her 4-H photography projects to add to her streaming skills.
Between the three of them, they will trade off filming during the staggered show schedule, with mom Monica standing by just in case they need some assistance.
It was Monica who encouraged the children to join the 4-H program after hearing about the youth organization from students at Adrian Elementary, where she teaches.
“For a lot of years, 4-H’ers would come and talk about their projects,” she said. “I heard about the Sauers (Barry and Kerry’s four daughters were active in 4-H and attended Adrian schools) and some of the cool things they were doing. Getting to know the families, I realized many of them were really down to earth and interested in community service.”
It sounded like a perfect fit for the Horn family.
“By involving my kids in 4-H, they could be involved in (the same) organization, and it gives us a chance to do something as a family,” she added. “It also met my kids’ interest. I knew from little on that Jonathan loved computers (and in 4-H) he excels and can do those things.”
Joshua, meanwhile, has a knack for photography, video and computers — all three of which are 4-H project areas — and Jocelyn likes the more traditional projects such as clothing, fashion revue and performing arts.
“They can all three also work on leadership skills, which is important for them,” Monica added.
The Horns will be live streaming here on dglobe.com and on the Nobles County 4-H Facebook page. The schedule is as follows: Today, the beef show begins at 9:30 a.m., with the dairy show at 3 p.m. Thursday events include the rabbit show at 9:30 a.m., the poultry show at noon and the goat show at 3 p.m. On Friday, the swine show begins at 9 a.m., with the sheep show at 5 p.m.