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Beltrami 4-H youths earn honors at State Fair

Thirty-four Beltrami County 4-H members completed the 2013 Minnesota State Fair 4-H Livestock Encampment. There were nine exhibitors in the Beef Project: Anna Fogarty, Michael Fogarty, Chris Gilbertson, Tres Grundmeier, Kyla Langerak, Brian Mason, Sadie Radke, Renae Swanson and Hailee Todavich. Three youth exhibited Dairy Projects: Jacob Koch, Tori Koch and Kyle Underwood. In Goat Projects, the five exhibits included Valerie Davis, Mya Eichstadt, Josh Gilbertson, Haley Julin and Caitlin Pickett. There were six exhibitors with Poultry Projects: Taylor Fankhanel, Cole Koebke, Cyan Koos, Kylie St Peter, Calli Yerbich and Mark Yerbich. In the Rabbit Projects, exhibitors included: Hailey Erickson, Hannah Eichstadt, Taylor Hiltz, Michelle LaMoure and Emily Risberg. The Sheep Project exhibitors included: Colt Johnson and James Swiggum. Four exhibitors showed Swine Projects: Sara Erickson, Zach Erickson, Chase Todavich and Reid Vonasek.

Awards won at the State Fair include five white awards, seven red awards, 25 blue awards and five purple -- an Award of Excellence. The Awards of Excellence were earned by Valerie Davis in goat, Zach Erickson and Reid Vonasek in swine, Taylor Hiltz in rabbit and Cyan Koos in poultry.

Reid Vonasek earned a place in history as the second Beltrami County 4-H member ever to represent Beltrami County in the Purple Ribbon Auction at the MInnesota State Fair. Reid earned this opportunity with his Market Gilt -- a York/Hamp Cross.

Two Champion Honors were also awarded to a Beltrami County 4-H member during the Livestock Encampment. Taylor Fankhanel earned the title of Grand Champion in the Bantam Breeding Pen with her Buff Bantam Orpington chickens. Additionally, Fankhanel earned Grand Champion Senior Showman Honors in poultry.

Livestock youth also participated in Interviews. Animal Science Interviews at the State Fair are designed to enhance educational opportunities for young people exhibiting livestock. The interview process offers a visual philosophy of recognizing 4-H members who have utilized their livestock project to grow and develop as a young person.

Livestock Interviews emphasize many life skills such as communication, responsibility, decision making and problem-solving. The interview process is a step to help insure the stability of youth livestock shows as a positive form of youth development.

Interview finalists received a polo shirt donated by AgStar. Interview winners will received a chair sponsored by Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association.

Beltrami finalists Include: Kyle Underwood in dairy, Valerie Davis in goat, Taylor Hiltz in rabbit, Zach Erickson in swine. Finalists in poultry include: Cole Koebke, Calli Yerbich and March Yerbich. Taylor Fankhanel was named an Interview winner. These four poultry youth have participated as a Poultry Project Bowl Team since 2008.

Complete State Fair results and photos for 4-H youth across the state of Minnesota can be found at

For more information on 4-H in Beltrami County look to or contact the Beltrami County Extension Office at 444-5722.