Audience Appeal Earns Allamakee County 4-H Members Awards at Iowa State Fair

Allamakee County 4-H members earned recognition this week as communicators at the Iowa State Fair.
4-H members compete in categories of oral communication: educational presentations, working exhibits, extemporaneous speaking, share the fun, and one category of visual communication. In educational presentations, the 4-H members teach their audience about a topic they selected and researched. In working exhibits, the exhibitors invite passers-by to try a skill they demonstrate. In extemporaneous speaking, the 4-H members prepare a speech in 30 minutes and deliver it to an audience. Share-the-Fun participants perform vocal or instrumental music, dance, humorous skits, monologues, and specialty acts for fun.  In poster communication, they convey a message visually. 
"Almost any time fairgoers come into the 4-H Exhibits Building they can learn from a 4‑H member participating in a communications activity," said Mitchell Hoyer, program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development and 4-H Exhibits Building superintendent. "Effective communication means appealing to the interests of your audience." 
Allamakee County State Fair Educational Presentations Exhibitors:
Hannah Hagen member of the 4-H Toppers 4-H club from Waterville received Seal of Merit on her presentation of ‘When a Calf is Born.’
Gabriel Mattson member of the Mississippi Mad Scientists 4-H club from Lansing received Seal of Excellence on his presentation of ‘Arlington.’
Breelyn Dahlstrom member of the Bear Creek Kids 4-H Club from New Albin received Seal of Merit on her presentation of ‘A Day in the Life of My Brother.’
"Many work situations require the ability to demonstrate a skill while instructing others who are learning the skill," Hoyer said. "4-H members frequently practice this skill as they present information at club meetings and county fairs."
Allamakee County State Fair Working Exhibit Exhibitors:
Natalie Byrnes, Mia Kurth and Paisley Vine of Waukon received a Seal of Excellence on their working exhibit ‘How Lungs Work.’
"Billboards, television, newspapers, the Internet; the need to visually communicate effectively faces us each day. The poster class helps members improve layout and design skills as they interpret a promotional message about 4-H," Hoyer said. 
Allamakee County State Fair Posters Exhibitors:
Natalie Byrnes member of the River Valley Panthers and Trevor Block member of the West Ridge Riders both received a Seal of Merit on their Universe of Possibilities Communication posters.
4-H members performed during the Share-the-Fun event in the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair. Share-the-fun participants perform vocal or instrumental music, dance, humorous skits, monologues and specialty acts.
"Performers receive evaluation comments from a judge, but are not ranked," said
Mitchell Hoyer. "The purpose of the show is to entertain the audience and have fun while you're doing it."
About 100 youth perform each day of the fair, according to Mitchell Hoyer, program coordinator for Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development.  "Our judges give skill-building pointers in several areas including presence, performance techniques and interpretation."
Recognition went to the following 4-H’ers.  Katherine and Hannah Hagen from Waterville and members of the 4-H Toppers preformed a duet ‘Count On Me.  Annelise Ellingson, Waukon, member of the River Valley Panthers preformed on her ukulele and sang ‘Going Going Gone.’  Gabriel Mattson, Lansing, member of the Mississippi Mad Scientists rendition of the ‘Gettysburg Address.’
"We are very proud of the personal accomplishments of 4-H participants in this project area and the educational learning experiences and life skills they gain," said
Morgan Bjerke, County Youth Coordinator.
For more information on getting involved with the communications project area or joining 4-H, please contact Morgan Bjerke at the ISU Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office at or 563-568-6345, or visit the Iowa 4-H website at

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