Midland County 4-H Clubs Post Midland County Fair Schedule Kicks


Before the Midland Carnival was set up or the smell of cotton candy filled the air at the Midland County Fairgrounds, youth judging was already underway Saturday.

The Gerstacker building was buzzing as dozens of young people and their families submitted their applications.

Categories ranged from crafts and ceramics to photography and taxidermy. Judging tables were arranged around the building. After pitching their projects, contestants could exhibit their work at stations that are available for viewing for the rest of the week.

Youth between the ages of 5 and 19 represented several 4-H groups in the area. Easton Murray, 13, of Midland, is a member of 4-H in the Creek. This was her fifth year at the fair, entering the creative clothing, fleece, photography, ceramics and creative craft categories. On Sunday, she also competed in baking.

Although the fair is an opportunity to showcase one’s talents and interests, 4-H activities multiply throughout the year. Murray sees his fellow 4-Hers at school and enjoys getting together with them just to socialize or get together at meetings. She explained that her group makes cards to give away to retirement communities and bakes cookies to distribute at Santa’s House during the holidays.

“I just like learning how to be a better person and a leader,” Murray said. “It’s a great opportunity.”


  • Carnival Midway opens at 5 p.m.
  • Rodeo Band at 6:30 p.m. at the belvedere
  • Super Kicker Rodeo at 7 p.m. at the grandstand


  • Muxlo Exotics will offer three free reptile encounter shows throughout the day
  • Carnival Midway opens at 1 p.m.
  • Paul Wilkinson at 6:30 p.m. at the Belvedere
  • Super Kicker Rodeo at 7 p.m. at the grandstand

Results of 4-H competitions
Visit ourmidland.com for complete 4-H judging results.

Murray’s mom, Sharie, said 4-H is a way to help her daughter be outgoing and achieve her goals.

“They give back to the community as much as they can,” Sharie said. “But COVID kind of crushed it. Even until last year, we couldn’t have meetings. This year, the kids are coming back to do more.

Some 4-H groups were newer, including Triple Z which started in December 2021. Kayla Panzner, a former 4-H student, helped form a 4-H club for students at her school. On Saturday, she was with her son, Connor, 7, as he presented a few projects, including the string art of a lion.

“It’s fun to teach them life skills, like lost arts like canning and sewing,” Panzner said.

The Triple Z’s consists of approximately 30 children, with students in kindergarten through eighth grade. One of the main reasons Panzner helped start the club was to give students experiences similar to those she had had growing up. She explained that she had benefited from 4-H activities as a child, including sewing buttons on clothes and tending a garden.

“I had a really awesome 4-H leader growing up. She taught us a lot of skills that I still use today.

The fair attracted students from outside the Midland region, including Andrew Yeomans-Stephenson, 18, from Okemos. He is a member of the Midland-based Helping Hands 4-H club run by his grandmother, Mary Yeomans.

Over the year, Yeomans-Stephenson has enjoyed attending 4-H Exploration Days at Michigan State University, taking a few classes, and learning new skills. He also looks forward to his club’s food week, which focuses on safe food preparation with regards to different allergens and healthy eating in general.

“Our 4-H club, we’re really into healthy living,” Yeomans-Stephenson said. “(Food Week) was really fun to do because I see people for a whole week that I wouldn’t see a lot.”

Yeomans-Stephenson has been involved in 4-H since he was five years old. This year it featured a blanket covered in patches from state parks across America. Along with the crests — which he collected from 2010 to 2017 — he quilted over a map of the United States. He has also entered the Home Art, Collectibles, Clothing, Cooking, Creative Writing and Rocket competitions.

“It’s fun to share a piece of who you are,” he said. “When you look around you see everyone’s different hobbies. It’s really cool to see.


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