July 10, 2001 | By: Haven Miller

Kentucky 4-Hers and their families will find some new activities and attractions awaiting them at this year's State Fair. Area 4-H Showcase events, a "wellness" cooking demonstration, and a dog assistance program benefitting disabled Kentuckians represent a few of these first-time events.

"We have ten areas, or Extension regions, participating in the Area Showcase and each group plans to do something different," said Jann Burks, Extension Associate for 4-H and Youth Development in the UK College of Agriculture. "For instance, one area may put on a talent show, another may have table top displays of 4-H projects, another may have a fashion show – it's their choice and all of them will be different."

The Area Showcase events will run from August 20 through August 26. Times are 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 with specific area's schedules (Bluegrass, Mammoth Cave, etc.) listed in fair catalogs and event booklets. The showcases are designed to generate interest in Kentucky's 4-H program among youth and adults.

"These areas will be highlighting some great 4-H talent and projects, and we hope youth and adults who see them will perhaps want to get involved with 4-H in their own communities," said Burks.

On two Saturdays, August 18 and 25, a nutrition specialist for the College of Agriculture will present public cooking demonstrations. The demonstrations are part of a university-sponsored program called the "Wildcat Way to Wellness." The first demonstration, titled "Are You Sure This is Soy?", will feature soy-based sausage products being used to prepare low-fat biscuits and gravy and also a pasta dish. The second Saturday will feature beef products.

"These demonstrations will certainly be of interest to youth and families visiting the Fair," said Janet Tietyen, UK Extension nutrition specialist. "The Wildcat Way to Wellness program is the basis for a new 4-H program we are developing called the Clover Cat Way to Wellness."

On Sunday, August 19th, fair goers can see a demonstration of dogs trained to assist people with disabilities.

"The dog assistance program is part of our AgrAbility program here at the College of Agriculture, and John Hancock and Kathy Sheppard- Jones of UK's Human Development Institute will be on hand to answer questions and help people get more information," said Burks.

Other new programs at this year's State Fair include the 4-H Ham Judging event, and a "City Block Skills" program that tests 4-Hers' abilities to navigate bicycles safely in simulated city traffic situations. This year will mark only the second time for the 4-H Junior Press Corp "shadowing" program where selected 4-Hers shadow UK ag communications professionals and perform news reporting duties from the fairgrounds. The program provides an opportunity for senior 4-Hers (ages 14 through 19) to expand their communication skills.


Jann Burks, 859-257-5961