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At the Kossuth County Fair

By Staff | Aug 13, 2010

Randy Eilerts and his son, Walker Eilerts, 1, of Sedan, Kan., check out the hogs in the swine barn at the Kossuth County Fair in Algona.

ALGONA – You don’t have to be a 4-H’er or FFA member to get your share of competition in at the Kossuth County Fair.

Like every county fair, Kossuth County has plenty of 4-H shows and livestock exhibits to be seen, but across the fairgrounds from the show barns and arenas are the open class exhibits, which offer those who aren’t a member of the organizations, or who may be too young or beyond high school age, to show their skills.

The Kossuth County open class consists of six departments – photography, textiles, floral, gardening, agriculture and culinary – and numerous classes to enter under, leaving plenty of opportunity for anyone to enter everything from fresh garden produce to handmade quilts to cakes and bars made from a mix jazzed up with the baker’s own creativity.

Kathy Paul and Evelyn Maubsley volunteered their time and culinary expertise to judge the open class culinary entries Wednesday afternoon, and sampled plenty of fresh baked goods in the process. A few hours into judging there were still several entries to go, but Maubsley didn’t mind at all.

“We started at noon,” she said. “But this is one of the most wonderful jobs getting to taste everything. We just drink plenty of water in between.”

The reigning 2009 Little Miss Kossuth County Fair, Meredith Tigges, enjoyed the last few days of her reign spending time with the animals at the Kossuth County Fair.

Paul said that similar to 4-H judging, the open class culinary judges look for details such as consistency in jams and preserves and good yeasts in breads. Candies and cookies are judged on their texture, appearance and taste.

“The most important thing with any of them is that they are all well done,” said Paul.

Once they are judged, each entry receives a blue, red or white ribbon and are paid a premium based on the award at the end of the fair.

New royalty was set to be crowned at the fair during the fair queen contest Wednesday evening, but before crowning a new queen, the reigning 2009 Kossuth County Fair Queen Corrin Rahm, 18, of Lone Rock, was enjoying her final day as royalty by spending time with 2009 Little Miss Kossuth County Fair Meredith Tigges, a 6-year-old, while visiting the livestock barns.

“It’s been a great experience; I’ve loved it,” Rahm said. “This year we’ve helped out at the races and today at the rabbit show. Tonight we’ll get ready and ride in one final parade before handing over the title to a new queen at the pageant.”

Evelyn Maubsley, of Burt, judges a plate of muffins in the culinary division of the open class show at the Kossuth County Fair.

In the 4-H and FFA barns, several 4-H’ers prepared their livestock for upcoming shows.

Hailey Schmidt, a member of the Lotts Creek Lassies 4-H Club was preparing her 6-month-old bucket calf, Buddy, for their first show. After petting him for a while, the calf went straight for 10-year-old Schmidt’s fingers, which she said he does often.

“Every time he sees my fingers he tries to do that,” she said as she laughed at the calf. “I don’t know why, but he loves trying to suck on them.”

Gwen Schutjer, 11, of the Titonka-Wesley 4-H Club, had her hands full Wednesday afternoon as she showed her 14 rabbits plus their seven babies. By the end of the day she had racked up three trophies, one red ribbon and “a lot of blue ones.”

Schutjer said the rabbits are judged on their fur, teeth and claws and one additional aspect that she said is “really important.

Gwen Schutjer, 11, of Titonka, handles her rabbit, named Buddy, prior to entering him in the showmanship competition of the rabbit show at the Kossuth County Fair in Algona.

“They always make sure they are the same gender that you registered them as,” she said.

Contact Emilie Nelson at (515) 573-2141 or enelson@messengernews.net

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