SD 4-H is seeking volunteers

SD 4-H is seeking volunteers South Dakota 4-H is looking for a few good men and women.

In response to suggestions from the public, the state 4-H office is seeking unpaid volunteers who will judge static exhibits at this year's South Dakota State Fair. Static exhibits include such things as cookies, clothing, photography, crops, hobbies and collections.

There are normally about 11,000 such exhibits at the South Dakota State Fair and judging typically has required approximately 200 judges and additional support personnel. Until now they have been paid for what they do, but money is not available this year because the South Dakota State Fair Commission has cut the budget for 4-H activities at the fair by some $60,000.

South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service interim program leader Karla Trautman has said parents and community leaders active in 4-H have suggested volunteers as one way to see that static exhibits will still be judged. "This was their call," Trautman said. "We have heard the voice of South Dakota. We are going to use volunteers." Trautman said a conservative estimate is that it will take at least 200 volunteers to do the work of the judges plus perform support functions.

South Dakota 4-H already relies on some 5500 volunteers annually to help bring its youth development and educational programs to some 61,000 young people in the state. Fittingly, Trautman noted that the call for additional volunteers comes at a time when youth in the state are seeking more involvement with adults. In a statewide conversation hosted by South Dakota 4-H in January, youth identified greater parental involvement and more mentors for young people as two of the five greatest needs of young people in South Dakota.

Persons interested in judging at the state fair may call the Clay County Extension Office at 677-7111 for more information. The 2002 South Dakota State Fair take place July 29 through Aug. 4 on the State Fairgrounds in Huron.

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