Siblings exhibit 99 total projects at Rock County Fair
The fair in Luverne continues through Saturday.
LUVERNE — Siblings Egypt and Fox Forrest of Luverne have combined to bring nearly 100 exhibits to the Rock County Fair this week.
Members of the County K-9s 4-H Club, they took a wide variety of items, from pens of swine, rabbits and poultry to crafts and fine arts, canning, needlearts and photography. Fox led the pair with 60 exhibits, while Egypt had 39 projects judged.
“I didn’t get a lot of projects done this year because I was busy with a couple of summer college classes and band,” said Egypt, who typically trails her brother in the number of projects exhibited — mostly because he wants to best her each year.
That may change in a couple of years, however, when Egypt marks her last year of eligibility in 4-H.
“In my last year, I won’t have college in the summer and I won’t have marching band, so it’ll be much easier to do a lot more projects,” she said.
Egypt will be a senior this fall at Luverne High School, while Fox will be a freshman. Both have been in 4-H for about seven years.
The siblings both enjoy the opportunities available in the youth organization, and Egypt said preparing projects for the fair “gets me crafting and not just sitting on my phone.”
“It’s really a great community because everyone in 4-H is just super nice to each other,” she added. “We get together with other members to make certain projects or do a craft day … and we’ve been getting together to do Community Pride.”
“I like getting together with a group and being constructive,” said Fox, who currently serves as president of their 4-H club.
For as many projects as they exhibit at the fair, the Forrests don’t get started any too early on making their items. Sure, their show pigs and rabbits are selected early in the year, and Fox buys his chickens from the local Bomgaars and via mail order in the spring. All of their canning projects were canned last fall, and their garden was planted early to produce items for the vegetable gardening project. Everything else, though — from sewing garments to taking pictures to exhibit in photography — comes down to the last minute for the self-proclaimed procrastinators.
“I don’t start very far beforehand,” said Fox. “I don’t think about (the fair) until it’s like, holy cow, it’s around the corner. When it’s like two weeks away, then yeah, I’m like I need to get all this done.”
As for Egypt, “I am a chronic procrastinator,” she said. “I got four dresses done in like, two weeks before they were being judged. I did my needlearts (punch needle) on Saturday and I picked my photographs on Sunday. An hour before we went to get judged, I picked the flowers for the bouquets.”
With the variety of projects she exhibits, Egypt said her favorite category is making clothing that she can wear and exhibiting in the 4-H Fashion Review. This year she earned both grand and reserve grand champion in the "clothes you make" project.
Fox, meanwhile, said showing chickens is his favorite 4-H project.
“I love chickens — and I have a lot of chickens,” he shared, noting that he raises more than 100 chickens of many different breeds. He has pens of market chickens, egg-laying chickens and breeding chickens at the fair.
He also operates a business with his chickens, selling eggs at Those Blasted Things in Luverne — the store is owned by his grandparents — for $2 a dozen.
“I get a lot of different types of chickens because I like a variety,” Fox said.
Both Fox and Egypt have exhibited 4-H projects at the Minnesota State Fair each year since they’ve been eligible. Egypt has taken a different project area each time to get experience in how judging is done.
Thus far, her state fair projects have included fashion review, canning (blueberry basil jelly), non-garment (quilted bag), goats (in 2020, when judging was online), and performing arts. If she earns a trip this year in communication arts, she’d like to take a series of poems she wrote to the state fair.
As for Fox, if he isn’t able to take his performing arts to the state fair — playing Sound of Silence on his saxophone — he might take one of his indoor gardening projects.
The Forrests are children of Russell Forrest and Katie Walgrave.