County 4-H Day is the first big event of the 4-H year. The annual event, held in February, is an opportunity for 4-H members to showcase a talent, hone public speaking skills, meet other 4-H members and learn more about their projects. This year, 4-H Day will be held Saturday at the Winfield Middle School. Members are busy putting the finishing touches on their presentations. 

4-H members participating in 4-H Day can take part in one of the following areas: Demonstration, Illustrated Talk, Project Talk, Public Speaking, Reading, Musical Talent, Talent (including plays, skits, puppet shows, etc.), Club Model Meeting, Pickle Power, Consumer Judging, Favorite Family Foods Show, Show and Share and Multimedia presentations. 

Project talks are given by intermediate (ages 10-13) and junior (ages 7-9) members about a 4-H project in which they are enrolled. A demonstration or illustrated talk demonstrates or shows how to do something in a 4-H project. When giving a demonstration, the member will show how to do something live. An illustrated talk uses posters or visual aids to show how to do something. 

Public speaking is a speech given by a member on a topic of their choosing. It does not have to be about a project in which the member is enrolled. It could be a speech that the member has given in another setting, at school or for another organization. An impromptu speech is a test of a member’s ability to organize their thoughts and present their ideas and opinions. The member draws a topic on which to speak and is given time to develop and practice the speech before presenting it to the judge. Members who participate in public speaking and impromptu public speaking must be in the senior (age 14-18) division.

Reading is an opportunity for members to share their creativity and dramatic reading abilities utilizing a favorite story, book excerpt or poem. 

Media presentations give kids the opportunity to use PowerPoint, video or other digital media to enhance their presentation. Participants must be present to give their presentation; no pre-recorded presentations are allowed. 

Show and share is a special category created for first and second year 4-H members. Participants give a presentation on any topic they choose; they do not have to talk about a 4-H project in which they are enrolled. A Show and share presentation is still an organized talk, but the maximum time limit is less than for a project talk or demonstration/illustrated talk and is somewhat more relaxed. Show and share gives new members an introduction to public speaking. 

Skits, drama and one-act plays are great opportunities for a club or group of 4-Hers to work together and have some fun! Write your own short play, or find one that is fun to do. Drama gives members a way to be creative and work together as a club or group. Members can also present comedy acts, puppet shows, marionettes, mimes, etc.

Clubs are invited to test their parliamentary procedure skills and learn how to properly conduct a meeting by taking part in the model meeting. A club presents a meeting before a judge complete with business, motions, and a program. This is a great opportunity to learn how to be better organized as a club and learn how a meeting works. 

Pickle power is a unique division for younger 4-H members and cloverbuds (5 and 6- year-olds). Each member is given two situations from which to choose. It puts the member “in a pickle,” so to speak, and they are asked to explain to the judge what they would do. Pickle power is an opportunity for youth to speak one-on-one with an adult and discuss their decision. It helps youth to go through the decision-making process and develop their reasoning skills. Pickle power is a non-competitive division, and each participant receives a prize. 

Musical talent includes instrumental, vocal and piano solos, and ensembles will be presented in the WMS band and vocal rooms. 

Consumer judging is offered in three age divisions: junior (7-9), intermediate (10-13) and senior (14-18). Participants are given situations along with four possible solutions. They must determine which solution is best and rank the four. Each age division is scored and the top individuals competing in the Intermediate and Senior divisions for the year have the opportunity to represent Cowley County at the Kansas State Fair. 

Eating together encourages family togetherness, provides better nutrition and is enjoyable! Cowley County hosts the favorite family foods show during 4-H Club Days. Cloverbuds and 4-H members can display their favorite family meal menu with a proper table setting. Participants will select one favorite food from the menu and display a photograph of that food. 4-Hers will meet with a foodie (aka judge) to discuss their entry. 

4-H Day participants have the opportunity to increase their skills through conferencing with the judges after giving their presentations. Judges ask questions and give suggestions to our members.

Kelsey Nordyke is the 4-H youth development agent for K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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