DUNKIRK - While the rides warmed up, 4-H members showed animals and projects Monday at the Chautauqua County Fair. The fair kicked off with a boom as the annual cannon ceremony sounded off.
Welcoming comments were provided by James Tytka Jr. who introduced the fair board members.
Guests of Honor included James Bays, state Department of Agriculture and Markets' First deputy commissioner - who read a letter of congratulations and appreciation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. County Executive Vincent Horrigan welcomed the crowd to the fair and thanked the fair board and all the volunteers for all their effort.
Pictured is Emily Brown of the Canadaway 4-H Club as she presents Rabbit Showmanship with her rabbit Frederick for the VIP tour after the opening ceremony at the fair.
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell - R-Jamestown - cited the importance of agriculture in Chautauqua County and in the state as well as the importance of the youth in 4-H. Stephen Keefe, Fredonia mayor, welcomed the fairgoers as Anthony Dolce, Dunkirk mayor, was pleased to host the fair in Dunkirk.
Also in attendance were: Laurie Livingston, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County; Kevin Muldowney, representing state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean; Daniel Heitzenrater, representing Congressman Tom Reed, R-Corning; Phyllis Jones, Fredonia village trustee; Janet Keefe, David Wilfong and Lisa Vanstrom, county legislators; and Lori Cornell, representing Cuomo's office. Roland Swanson, a longtime supporter of 4-H; Patty Hammond, Family and Consumer Science issue leader; and Emily Reynolds, 4-H issue leader, were also in attendance.
4-H Teen Ambassadors, young leaders who are skilled, enthusiastic and have a passion for promoting 4-H, provided presentations of their animal projects in the 4-H Building, and refreshments were served.
Throughout the day, 4-H members made public presentations on a variety of topics. 4-H public presentation participants learned the research process, gained the ability to think and speak in front of a group, developed poise and self confidence and experienced "mastery," all essential elements that enhance public speaking skills.
Presenting during the VIP tour were: Emily Brown - Rabbit; Kayla Nefedov - Sheep; Nicole Ewer and Robbie Clutter - Goat; Elizabeth Comstock - Hog; Hannah Hornyak and Taylor Young - Dog; Kaitlyn Miller - Dairy; and Stephanie Rogers, Kevin Rogers and Chrissy Dean - Horse.
Monday's public presentations were also provided by: Anna Talbot - Hunger Games; Max Comstock - Turkey hunting; Rachel Comstock - Rabbit foods; Christina Dean - Harness parts; Mackenzy Graziano- 5 Nutrients of Rabbit Food; Kevin Rogers and Stephanie Rogers - Thoroughbred Horse Racing; Karli Gifford - Clydesdales; Montana Pope - EPM; Lacey Johnson - Lamanchas; and Aubin Barber - Equine.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, a community-based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County government, the state SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 664-9502 or visit www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua.