Chatfield youth proof that fair projects
extend beyond animals, farm-related topics
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:31 AM
Grace Boelter's got 4-H stripes.
Grace Boelter is a Cloverbud 4-Her who is entering her coordinated zebra outfit in the fashion revue at the Fillmore County Fair. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
But being a Rabbit?
Definitely not a black and white thing.
"I really like clothes and stuff, and I do the fashion revue, pick out clothes to wear, like dresses," said the Chatfield Root River Rabbit 4-H Cloverbud, or beginner 4-Her, "and I have a zebra outfit to wear for the fashion revue."
Grace, daughter of Michael and Brooke Boelter, is an upcoming first grader at Chatfield Elementary School and has just finished her first year as a 4-Her who doesn't "have a cow, man!"
She is a town-dweller who's got those zebra-striped togs to show off as her first Fillmore County Fair 4-H project, proving that a 4-H member may not necessarily have to live in the country and definitely doesn't have to have an animal to participate in the fair.
"I've got a couple more projects," she related. "I've got frames, and I'm painting a can and decorating it with little flowers, and I'm growing vegetables for the fair at my grandma's house. I helped plant them, and I think I might pick corn, because I like corn a lot."
The 7-year-old joined 4-H because her parents remembered having a good time in it when they were young, although Brooke admits that the organization has changed quite a bit.
"She's the oldest, and we decided she should try it because both my husband and I were in it when we were young. She's the only one old enough to be in it, but it's such a family-centered organization that the whole family goes," Brooke explained. "I hope she learns self-confidence, that it's always important to give back, and she can learn about so many different animals, plants, so many different projects. 4-H now...there are so many different things you can bring to the fair, and you're learning something new all the time."
Since Grace is what her mother calls a "big accessorizer," finding the zebra-striped skirt, hat, black shirt and pink shoes for Grace and a matching outfit for her American Girl doll was an adventure for mom and daughter.
The project isn't going to be judged at the same level as older 4-Hers' projects since she's just a Cloverbud, but she's proud of her fashion sense, nonetheless, and anticipates showing it off during the fashion revue.
Grace also likes visiting the exhibits and livestock barns at the fair, "looking at the pigs" and petting the calves, like she does when she's bottle-feeding calves at her grandma's house.
While she may not become a farmer, she's definitely not afraid to visit the animals that live in the country. Grace is certainly determined to someday make her mark, maybe becoming famous and having her 4-H leaders to thank for the skills she builds.
"I probably want to grow up to be a singer. I like Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood. I like to sing and dance with my friends," Grace concluded.