When most people think of 4-H in relation to the Central Kansas Free Fair, they envision cattle, bulls, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens and a variety of other animals.
However, Megan Anguiano, future senior at Abilene High School, proves that there is much more to 4-H than beef and poultry.
“Most people that go to the fair expect to just see animals, but there’s a whole other side to 4-H. Half of the people in my club don’t even deal with animals,” Anguiano said.
Anguiano is involved in the foods and nutrition, fiber arts, leadership and home environment. She is a member of the Willowdale 4-H club, and she is the junior leader of the foods and nutrition project.
She has been in 4-H for around 10 years, and she has won various purple ribbons on her entries (the highest ribbon level). Two years ago, she received Best Overall Quilt in the county and last year she won Best Food Preservation.
This year for the CKFF, Anguiano entered a quilt, canned corn/peaches/tomato juice, peach pie, sticky buns and a home environment scrapbook.
However, there are various regulations she must follow when completing her projects. With her canning, there are specific recipes she has to follow, to make sure that it is safe to eat. With her other food projects, she can pick her own recipe.
Anguiano enjoys quilting a quilt each year for entry into the fair. She describes her process, “I cut the fabric, sew it together, and iron it. Then, I have a stitching design done professionally on the quilt to hold together the layers. After that, I finish the quilt by hand-sewing the binding on.”
Easy as pie (or is it?)
The 4-H judges expect high quality when they are evaluating the projects.
“In quilting, they like accurate stitching and binding. For food, judges look for quality of food and if it tastes good. They will literally look inside my rolls sometimes to see if there are any air pockets,” she said.
“She forgot to put flour in her pie to thicken it, so I’m pretty sure that’ll come home with a white,” added Anguiano’s mother Kristi.
“White is the lowest ribbon level. It’s basically thanks for participating.” Anguiano said.
Besides baking, not everything in 4-H is easy as pie. Megan works 50 hours a week, and says it is difficult to manage her 4-H projects while working multiple jobs.
“It’s difficult keeping up with all my projects. I’m really good at procrastinating. We also have to keep track of everything we do involved with our projects in our record books,” she said.
However, it all pays off when she is being judged.
“It’s nerve wracking because I have no idea what they will say,” she said.
But when she receives a purple ribbon, like she did with her quilt entry for this year, it makes up for it.
More than a club
Anguiano values much more about 4-H than the just her projects. She said, “The most rewarding part of being in 4-H is all the friends you make and the experiences you can have. Also they pay you if you get a purple ribbon. I’ve also won really nice pans and cutlery through the foods and nutrition project.”
She has also learned so much through her 4-H experiences. “4-H has taught me a lot of leadership skills, because when you work with the younger kids in 4-H, you have to set a good example and be a good leader. It also just teaches you how to be a decent human being.”
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