New 4-H programs start in October

Smiling kids with shiny ribbons are among the best sights to see at the Clackamas County Fair. Most of these young people are members of 4-H, the youth development program of the Oregon State University Extension Service.

During the recent county fair, 655 boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, came to the fair to show off their plants, animals, photographs, quilts, cookies, rock collections, science experiments, public speaking skills and more, hoping to catch the judge’s eye with their accomplishments.

“We have more 4-H club members than any other county in Oregon,” said Wendy Hein, who oversees about half of Clackamas County’s 150 4-H clubs. “These members work hard all year long and the county fair is an opportunity for them to show the community what they can do. Not only do they learn practical skills while preparing their exhibits, but research shows that 4-H members who participate in the county fair learn life skills such as responsibility, confidence and time management.”

In 4-H, exhibits are first judged to a standard.

“The point of judging in 4 -H is to learn, not to beat someone else,” said Hein.

Every member has the opportunity to receive a blue or purple ribbon if his or her exhibit or performance is of “excellent” quality and exceeds the standard. A red ribbon is given when the standard is met, and a white ribbon is awarded if additional work is needed to meet the standard.

After all entries are given ribbons, the judge may then choose the top two blue-ribbon entries to receive a champion and a reserve champion ribbon. A grand champion and reserve grand champion may be given when all the top entries in an entire division are compared. Younger members are evaluated on participation only and receive a colorful ribbon and prize.

West Linn 4-H participants this year included Josh Clark, Andrew Classen, Jessica Classen, Aylish Clayton, McKenna Clayton, Sarah dePaula, Alex Dewart, Ben Dewart, Eddie Dewart, Lizzie Dewart, Melia Dewart, Hallie Esau, Magge Gilbert, Kenna Gilbert, Morgan Gilbert, Jason Johnson, Kristina Johnson, Holly Jones, Amanda LaBar, Caitlin McCabe, Conor McCabe, Carly Shanklin, Kendall Shanklin, Kaci Spain, Abbie Stout, Hana Trueb, Olivia Trueb and Lauren True.

The county and state fairs mark the end of the 4-H year. The Horse and Dog fairs were held in July, and the Clackamas County Fair and Oregon State Fair are in August and September. In October, 4-H clubs start their new program year and are open to new members.

Youth interested in joining 4-H, and adults interested in becoming volunteers, should contact the OSU Extension Service in Clackamas County at 503-655-8635 or email Trisha at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additional information about 4-H is available online at

Contract Publishing

Go to top