FCS Reflections of the Fair
What a marvelous time I had last week, experiencing my first Hancock County Fair as the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Educator for OSU Extension! Not only was the weather a pleasant surprise, but so were my interactions with so many wonderful fair volunteers and visitors. I want to take the opportunity to share my appreciation to some wonderful people I met, as well as to show some of the sights and events that made the fair so special to me this year.
First, I want to say a big “Thank You!” to my Extension colleagues in and out of our office, who allowed me to embrace this new experience and didn’t curb my enthusiasm. They even supported it by helping to put together an updated Extension display and plan some FCS-related activities. I was able to be a part of the dedication of the new Youth Building and premiered “Family Fun with FCS” activities held there. Second, thank you to Haley Reese, of the Hancock County Farm Bureau, for offering us the opportunity to do programming in the Agribusiness Building and supported it with technology and set-up at The Farmer’s Café.
I also have great appreciation for the Hancock County Fair leadership and volunteers who made me feel like I was a welcomed contributor to the events and activities in the Grange Building. When I met Deb Brumley, Director for the Grange Building facility and events, it felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend. Maybe it was because she was new to her role, as well, overseeing and redesigning a space that had been “in storage” for over a year. Together we came up with a great location for our updated Extension display, and she introduced me to several of the event Superintendents, who I learned are, essentially, volunteers who give their time and energy to promote things that they are passionate about. Then, through much planning and hard work, they attempt to share that passion with the Hancock Community the best they can with the resources they have available. With the Grange Building events being non-existent in 2020, some of the superintendents were new to the role and/or were concerned about the level of interest in some of the shows due to decreased entry numbers and attendance concerns due to the pandemic. These volunteers were open to teaching me about their areas and allowed me to contribute, as I could, to the activities and shows, some of which were pretty new to me. I even was asked to draw on my foods background to judge baked goods. (It is a tough job, but someone must do it!). Despite fewer entries in some of the categories, I think there was some real interest and some very tough, but friendly, competition. Through the photography, crafts, woodworking, baked and canned goods, antiques and collectibles, flowers and horticulture shows, it is evident that Hancock County is a place full of able Do-It-Yourselfers and those who have a true eye for beauty.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the 2021 Hancock County Fair and for helping me to feel like such a welcome member of this wonderful community during these first several weeks with Extension. I plan to do my part and contribute to the wellbeing of this county by creating programming, providing resources, and supporting groups and organizations with expertise and materials to promote healthy people, healthy finances, and healthy relationships. I look forward to partnering with many of you as I bring programs, remote and virtual, to a location or screen near you. “Stay tuned” for continued updates to the Family and Consumer Sciences section of our website.
~Jennifer Little, MS, RD,LD
Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences