All’s fair in Allen County: The nuts and bolts of 4-H judging



July 16, 2018 - 11:00 PM

It is county fair time across the State of Kansas! While you may attend the fair as a form of entertainment, 4-H’ers and their families know that this is the time to display the hard work put into their yearlong project learning in the 4-H Program.

While visiting the county fair, it is hard to miss the different colored ribbons or stickers placed on the exhibits. Have you ever wondered why there are different colors and how that came about? Well, I am going to share with you the judging process.

In 4-H most judging involves the Danish System of judging. In this system, the judges do not judge one person’s work by comparing it to another’s. The evaluation is made against a standard. A judge looks to see whether requirements are met. Exhibits are placed into four ribbon groups. The best ribbon placing is purple which means the project is outstanding on all standards. Blue means it exceeds the minimum standard and may have minor flaws where improvements can be made. The ribbon placing that meets all minimum standards and may show visible signs of needed improvements is red. And projects failing to meet minimum standards receive a white.

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