All over the Missouri State Fair there are contests, from livestock to pig races, from floriculture to kids’ ring toss. There also are daily demonstrations in the buildings, ranging from nutrition and skin care to sewing tips.
On Saturday, the 4-H Building at the fairgrounds hosted the International Foods Demonstration Contest. This contest was hosted all day and kept all the staff and competitors on their toes. One woman who was high in demand was Joyce Taylor.
Taylor has been a staff member for 4-H for 30 years and has coordinated the food contests just as long. Taylor’s favorite part of the competition is seeing kids grow and develop skills to demonstrate. Through all her years of being with 4-H, she has made many friends and become one of the leaders who other people come to see.
Taylor introduced two competitors, Meredith Clevenger and Bayley Pickering. Clevenger, 17, has been in 4-H for 10 years and joined because her mother was a leader and her sister was already in 4-H. Her favorite part about the contests is actually competing and eating the food at practices. Her least favorite part is clean-up.
For Clevenger, the competition may be stressful and time-consuming, but it also is a lot of fun.
Pickering, 16, was introduced to 4-H by Clevenger and has been in agriculture group for seven years. She has made many friends through the competitions. Pickering’s favorite part of the contest is the final performance and her least favorite is cleaning up. Both girls said their most memorable moment was last year when they won first place at competition.
Heather Patrick is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.