Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012
In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862, the park partnered with the University of Nebraska and Gage County Extension Offices to create 12 special categories in the Gage County Fair for 4H youth to compete in entries related to homesteading or Homestead National Monument of America.
The Homestead 4-H Connection classes included photography, food preservation, foods, quilting, sewing, heritage, arts, horticulture, alternative energy, historic farming equipment, historic architecture, and interactive technology.
During the Gage County Fair, approximately 30 youth entered around 40 entries. Entries included such things as an original poem, oil paintings, sod house and log cabin replicas, poster on straw bale building construction, handmade kitchen knife, a kitchen cabinet from barn wood, video of a school visit to Homestead National Monument of America, native plant display and potted native plants, family immigration story, historic quilt block with pattern and block framed, family recipes framed, and many canned foods.
These creative arts entered by 4H youth directly connects to “Call to Action” item 10, “Arts Afire.” An anonymous donor provided funds for a special bald eagle “Best in Show” trophy and commemorative medallions for the twelve class winners. The donor also funded two highway billboards with the class winners’ pictures as recognition for their success.