Kelsi and Kaci Goldsmith show off the fairy gardens they've created for their fair projects. These and their other projects will be judged during the week of July 23 to 27 during the Fillmore County Fair in Preston.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Kelsi and Kaci Goldsmith show off the fairy gardens they've created for their fair projects. These and their other projects will be judged during the week of July 23 to 27 during the Fillmore County Fair in Preston. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Kaci and Kelsi Goldsmith are in for a fair adventure as they develop their 4-H projects in preparation of the Fillmore County Fair. Both girls are members of the Root River Rabbits 4-H Club in Chatfield.

"I've gained knowledge on my projects, made friends from around the county, tried a lot of different things - like raising my big steers, sewing, photography and wood shop," said Kaci, who, along with her younger sister, Kelsi, is excited for the fair, which will be held the week of July 23 to 27.

The girls are the daughters of Chris and Kari Goldsmith of rural Fountain and said they "really had no choice" whether or not they would become 4-H members.

Kari stated, "Mom and Dad were Fillmore County alumni."

Kaci, 12, is marking her seventh year, having joined as a kindergartner in the Cloverbud group, and this is Kelsi's third year. She also joined as a kindergartner Cloverbud.

Kaci admits that she honestly didn't have a choice about joining 4-H, but admitted that it has been fun.

Being a member has engaged her in so many projects and activities, such as preparing for the fair. This year, she's bringing sheep, a fairy garden, chickens, a beef steer, pigs, wood shop items and crafts.

Kelsi has entered flowers, photography, crafts, a birdhouse, woodworking, beef, sheep, pigs, and is trying chickens for the first time, along with presenting a fairy garden, and most enjoys the fair because there's a great sandbox to play in in the corner of the 4-H barn.

Kaci's been busy since January, when the 4-H member started raising things that "cheep."

"We have three incubators in the basement, and we get eggs in January, and we're hatching chicks down there," she explained. "They're right below my bedroom, so I hear them at night."

The first week of June, she's out of bed very early in the morning when the air is cool so she can walk her sheep, and to walk, wash, brush and give her steer a good ear scratching.

The Monday before the fair opens, she and Kari are hard at work washing and clipping sheep, washing chickens and giving the steer one last appraisal.

Kaci hopes that her efforts pay off at the show ring, where she's "excited but a little bit nervous" to be. She appreciates "making new friends" while at the fair, and also showing her animals because she likes the competition...and simply being in the show ring.

She admitted, "I'm excited, a little bit nervous, but if I get a trophy or blue ribbon, I'll think, 'Yes, I love this animal!'"

Kaci has plans for her future that have definitely been influenced by her 4-H membership. "I want to be a veterinarian like my uncle and aunt, to have any job with animals. 4-H is very, very fun. You learn a lot, meet a lot of new friends. I think people should try it."