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A lifetime of 4-H for Schlipf, Larkin

Autumn Schlipf, left, of the Waldo Peppy Club & Libby Larkin, right, of Pontiac Power Rockets.

PONTIAC – Autumn Schlipf and Libby Larkin may come from different 4-H clubs, but both have at least one thing in common: they were exposed to the Livingston County Ag Fair at very young ages.

Schlipf’s mom is a 4-H leader so she grew up around the youth organization.

“My first fair was when I was a month old,” Schlipf explained. “I have grown up in this environment running around the fair.”

Larkin admits she was just two months old when she first came out to the fair at 4-H Park.

“For me, just being out here meeting new people is pretty much how my summer goes every year. This is what I look forward to,” said Larkin.

Schlipf was working in the snow cone booth Friday for the 4-H Federation and was just hanging out at the fair. She entered three visual arts projects this year.

“I made a candle and I have two chalk carbon pigment projects – one is a charcoal drawing and one is a paint pour on a canvas and I have a pie crust.”

In addition to helping at the snow cone area, Larkin also had projects on display in the Humiston Building. One was a visual arts metal project which featured an old wheel with rusty metal Larkin found in family barns.

“My dad actually showed me how to weld,” she noted.

Small engines is another area of interest for Larkin as she took an engine apart and learned how to put it all back together. For interior designs, she replaced a rotted arm on a rocking chair and repainted it.

“You always have to have an open mind with what’s going on,” Larkin observed.

Larkin said she enjoys meeting new people since you never know who you will meet on the fairgrounds.

Local 4-H program coordinator Sara Attig felt fair week went quite well, despite the warm weather during the second half of the four-day event.

“I believe everyone is having a great time and so happy to actually be out at the fair in person,” Attig said.

Coming back from last year’s virtual show, Attig believes entries were down just slightly this year which is to be expected.

One project area that tends to get overlooked is the Cloverbud display. Cloverbuds are those between the ages of 5 and 7. They have been working on a “Little Roots” gardening project and Attig said the kids grew with the program.

Across the fairgrounds, Karen Clark and other volunteers could be found helping with farm games under the Rec Shelter Thursday and Friday afternoons. The Fair and Fun Committee works with the fair board. The project started two years ago to bring these kinds of games back to the fair.

“We have filled the Rec Shelter with games and we have prizes,” said Clark.

The committee has 12 volunteers who put plenty of work into the display. They solicited donors the past couple of years and have received tremendous support, according to Clark.

Games included farm trivia, ring toss over pop bottles, feed the pig and a lollipop tree.

The 2021 Livingston County Ag Fair concluded Saturday evening with a tractor pull after all of the animals and exhibits were released. The final day also included master showmanship in the Show Barn along with the livestock sale in the afternoon.


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