Participation up at State Fair in 4H, FFA competitions

Des Moines, Iowa – RadioIowa – There’s an increase in Iowa State Fair participation from kids who belong to 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Governor Terry Branstad has a theory for why that’s happening.

Under a the state law that took effect last year, August 23rd is the earliest date schools can start in Iowa. Mitchell Hoyer is the superintendent of the 4-H building on the State Fairgrounds, where there are 39-hundred exhibits on display. Hoyer says the later school start date has made it easier for more 4-Hers to give educational presentations and volunteer at the fair.

More than 24-thousand Iowa kids from rural and urban Iowa are members of 4-H clubs throughout the state. More than 23-hundred F-F-A members have exhibits at the State Fair this year. Scott Johnson, the executive secretary of F-F-A for Iowa, doesn’t think the later school start date has had “a lot of impact” on participation.

Alan Spencer served as executive secretary for Iowa’s F-F-A chapters from 2003 through 2011. He says F-F-A membership is growing nationwide.

The number of F-F-A Chapters is increasing in Iowa, too, despite school consolidation in rural areas.

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Chris was born in Webster City and raised in Charles City. As a young kid, he would always be caught singing along to songs on the radio. He says he's good at karaoke but we think otherwise. ;) In his free time, he enjoys beginning new projects at home and hardly ever finishing them. Chris lives in Charles City with his wife Vicki and a daughter Brynlee.