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ISF: It’s Non Stop Fun

By Staff | Aug 20, 2010

Jaden and Jaxon Kampen, of Humboldt, are the fourth generation of the Kampen family to show sheep at the Iowa State Fair. Their cousin Kole Kampen was also showing at the fair.

DES MOINES – “Non Stop Fun” is the theme for this year’s Iowa State Fair going on now through Aug. 22 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Highlights of the 2010 ISF include the famous butter cow, livestock shows, competitions, a variety of entertainment and an array of food.

What some people may not realize is the different ways a person can give to charities and even back to the fair.

This year’s official treat of the Iowa State Fair is Fair Squares.

For just $2 fair goers can purchase a large crispy rice cereal-marshmellow treat with from scratch in either plain or peanut butter flavor.

Abby Peterson, 16, of Harcourt, competed in the extemporaneous speaking contest at the Iowa State Fair on Monday and was awarded the seal of excellence award.

Allyson Krull, communications manager for the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, said the group was looking for a new way to raise money for the Blue Ribbon Foundation in addition to vending water and fair merchandise and developed the idea of the Fair Square.

The crispy rice treat, Krull said has a history to Iowa, with one of the founders being a graduate of Iowa State University, which makes it even more special to be making its debut as this year’s official fair treat.

Krull said volunteers are still selling merchandise to help raise money for the Blue Ribbon Foundation.

Gary and Julie Cooper of Arnolds Park have volunteered at the fair the last five years and were selling Fair Squares on Monday.

“We used to live in Des Moines and since moving we decided to keep coming down,” said Julie Cooper. “It’s fun to meet people. It’s fun to be at the fair.”

Of course, there’s 4-H

Local 4-H’ers have been busy competing at the fair.

Abby Peterson, 16 of Harcourt, daughter of Mark and Kim Peterson, who is entering her junior year at Prairie Valley High School in Gowrie next week brought three projects to the Iowa State Fair this year.

Peterson, a member of the Gowrie Groundbreakers 4-H club earned a participation ribbon for clothing selection, a seal of excellence in extemporaneous speaking and was set to compete in an educational presentation on today.

“It’s really hard to get down here in competitions so it is definitely an honor,” she said.

Peterson said she earned a seal of merit certificate last year at the Iowa State Fair in extemporaneous speaking.

Peterson brings a dictionary and a book of quotes to help her to prepare for her favorite competition.

“I like not having to prepare and just winging it,” said Peterson. “I find it easier to wing than having to practice something a million times.”

It’s the leadership opportunities Peterson gets with being a 4-H member she enjoys the most.

“I have been in 4-H since fourth grade and I especially enjoy meeting new people and experiencing things I wouldn’t get to experience if not for 4-H.”

Peterson began competing in 2008 at the Iowa State Fair and, as a 4-H State Council member, works for a few days during the fair.

Peterson is also a member of the Webster County 4-H Council, will be interviewing for National Congress and project awards this fall and has also been involved in several leadership projects.

4th generation in sheep

Twins Jaden and Jaxon Kampen, 12, of Humboldt, were busy tending to and showing sheep on Monday of the fair.

The Kampen twins, along with their cousin Kole Kampen, were showing off some of their families’ flock of Hampshire/Suffolk sheep as fourth generation of Kampens so show at the Iowa State Fair.

“It’s a great, great fun thing,” said Paul Kampen, the boys’ grandfather. “We work together, win together and lose together. It’s just fun to be around each other.”

Jaden said that so far he has received fifth place in showmanship and seventh in performance and will be showing two more times before the fair is over.

“Its fun. It gives me something to do in the summer besides video games,” said Jaden Kampen.

This was the twin’s first year showing at the Iowa State Fair, but said they have shown at their county fair in Humboldt and in Wright County, as well.

Jaxon Kampen has so far earned a purple ribbon in his performance class and earned a belt buckle for placing in his showmanship class.

“I think it’s fun to show sheep,” said Jaxon. “My dad and grandpa have all done it, so I wanted to do it, too.”

The Iowa State Fair runs through August 22 in Des Moines.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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