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Students represent at Polk County Youth Fair

by Kiyasha Horton

The 65th Annual Polk County Youth Fair is being held in Bartow this week, with more than 1,000 participants showing in areas including cows, chickens, hogs and rabbits. Students can compete in canning, preserving, bread-making, and more.

New competitions have been added as well, such as furniture building, metal working, ranch operations, special effects photography and public speaking.

While the fair is still taking place through Friday evening, some students have already placed in their competitions. Contestants are competing for a blue, red or white ribbon. Overall winners receive tri-colored ribbons.

Nicole Zimmerman, junior, has placed in “a variety of her demonstrations,” according to culinary teacher, Kim Martinez. Martinez’s culinary students compete in a variety of categories, along with Jason Butler’s agriculture students and Dotty Ivey’s fashion students.

Nicole’s sister, Ashley, took first place in one of her baking competitions, for a delectable cupcake she made.

Then, the pair teamed up for the sew-off competition, and earned second place honors. Sew-off is an on-the-spot competition in which students have just a few hours to construct a piece.

Fair competitors are made up of 4-H, Future Farmers of America and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organizations. Students must be a member of one of the organizations and maintain a C average in school, in order to compete.

The event continues through this evening with a market steer sale at 7:30 p.m. Check back for more competition results.