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Putnam 4-Her's at the Indiana State Fair

While the opportunity to learn while doing in 4-H project work is of foremost importance, the recognition of achievement through exhibition is certainly an added bonus to being in the 4-H program. The Indiana State Fair (ISF) and the Purdue Extension state staff has listed unofficial results for most projects. Search online using the keywords “Purdue Extension 4-H” and you will find a link as a green box to view the ISF results for both animal and non-animal projects. Updates according to ISF officials will continue to occur, especially for animal projects.

Overall, Putnam County 4-Hers were the recipients of 32 merit or honor ribbons, which are given sparingly to those are among the best and go beyond the basic exhibit requirements. For comparative purposes, last year there were 34 and the average is 31.

This year there were 159 blue ribbons compared to last year’s 157 blue ribbons awarded, and 32 red ribbons compared to last year’s 17 red ribbons awarded. There were 204 Putnam exhibit hall projects or activities entered at this year’s ISF compared to 141 last year and 177 in 2019, a year more normal to this year. Adding in livestock exhibition, Putnam 4-Hers contributed more than 300 ISF exhibits and activities in 2021. Since 2009, merit ribbons awarded to Putnam 4-Hers at ISF has averaged 31 per year while the median was 28 for exhibit hall projects and activities. During the same period, blue ribbons earned by Putnam 4-Her’s at ISF averaged 124 with a median of 116.

For the first time in five years, there were no sweepstakes winners. The sweepstakes winners are the top person in that project in the state. Many counties go for years without sweepstakes winners. Putnam County had had sweepstakes winners for four consecutive years with two sweepstakes winners in a single year during three of the previous four years. With 92 counties, usually three age divisions, sweepstakes winners may top a group of more than 200 individuals.

Despite no sweepstakes winners, there were many successes in the animal projects. Evan Hinkle had Best of Breed Polish at the state fair Rabbit Show. Putnam County llama and alpaca members were very successful in showmanship at the state fair taking seven of the top ten places in the grade 3-5 junior division and another Putnam 4-Her was in the top ten in the intermediate grade 6-8 division. Emmie Haddon was awarded champion milking shorthorn junior showmanship and received third place in her milking shorthorn heifer class.   

All 4-Hers are to be reminded that the due date for “My Record of Achievement” is September 3rd to be assured consideration for 2021 awards. It will be determined later the format of the awards program that is typically the first Sunday in November. Forms received after the due date will still be accepted and may be based on the number submitted and degree of lateness to be processed in time for the awards program. Completion of “My Record of Achievement” is also required for those who will be applying for 4-H scholarships from both the state and county level. Please call if you have questions or ask your 4-H leader who will be willing to help. This form is on the Purdue Extension-Putnam County website in an editable format and contact office if you can’t find it.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming events

September 2 – Staying Scam Safe, 6pm, Fairgrounds, register at 765-653-8411

September 3 – Record of Achievement Due for 4-H members

September 6 – Labor Day Holiday, Extension Office closed

September 7, 14, 21, 28 – Fall Walking Group, 9am, Big Walnut Sports Park, register at

September 22 – Recognizing Hazards Around the Farm webinar, 12 pm register at

September 27 – ServSafe 1-Day Class and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, Fairgrounds, register




   Photo: Emmie Haddon proudly displays her awards of champion 4-H milking shorthorn junior showmanship and third place in her milking shorthorn class at Indiana State Fair (courtesy photo).                Photo: Emmie Haddon proudly displays her awards of champion 4-H milking shorthorn junior showmanship and third place in her milking shorthorn class at Indiana State Fair (courtesy photo).