4-H Exhibit Booth: The Possibilities are Endless!

Every year during the Highlands County Fair, you can see various exhibits submitted by our 4-H members. During this time our office gets numerous phone calls from parents wanting to know how their child(ren) can participate in this event. The short answer is that we accept 4-H Exhibit Booth entries from current 4-H members and registration is managed through our online database 4-H Online. This is usually followed up by several other questions.

How do I become a 4-H Member?

Our organization is open to all youth ages 5-18 as of September 1st of the current school year.

Where can I get more information?

Event registration details and rules are emailed out through 4-H Online. Be sure to keep your family email (the email you used to register for 4-H) up to date as this is where the emails are sent to.

When are entries due?

Items submitted can be completed at any point throughout the 4-H year and can only be submitted once. Entries are typically due two weeks before the fair opens. This ensures that we have time to have all items judged, submissions recorded and then transported and set up at the fair. This year, entries are due on Monday, January 23. All food items are due by noon, while the rest of the projects are due by 4:30. Food submissions are due earlier to ensure freshness and get graded the day they are submitted.

What types of exhibits can I enter?

There are several different categories that you can choose from, however, you may only submit one item per category for a maximum of three submissions. This does not include the caladium for the Caladium Contest, or the Recycle, Reuse Project contest (wreath). You can also submit one of these items per contest. There are a total of 14 categories to choose from including 2D Art, 3D Art, 4-H Themed, Animal Sciences, Business, Club Competition, Fabrication, Food and Nutrition, Food Preservation, Horticulture Sciences, Mechanical & Technological Sciences, Needle Arts/Sewing, Photography, and Shooting Sports.

Choosing a Category

You want to be sure that your child picks a category that they are interested in. Be sure to double check the guidelines to ensure that your project fits within a category. Some items may fit into more than one category, but it is up to the exhibitor to select which category they feel their entry fits best into. Two categories that are commonly forgot about are the Food and Nutrition category as well as the Food Preservation category. While the actual food is not displayed at the fair, photographs of the food items, a list of their nutritional value, and recipe submitted are. This category is perfect for youth wanting to learn how to prepare their favorite food, family recipe, or sweet treat of their choice. Check out the recipe below for inspiration.

Food & Nutrition Category Recipe- Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake

Cheesecake Ingredients:

4 large eggs (room temperature)

24 ounces of regular cream cheese (room temperature)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 cup of white sugar

1 cup of regular sour cream

 Frosting Ingredients:

3 cups of cold heavy whipping cream

1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

16 ounces of regular cream cheese (room temperature)

10-12 fresh strawberries

Cake Layers:

You can make cake from scratch using your favorite recipe or you can use your favorite boxed mix. For this recipe, we used a boxed white cake mix following the directions on the box. Your ingredient list will depend upon which route you choose to go.

Directions for Cheesecake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, and cream cheese at a low speed.
  3. Stop and scrape down the sides.
  4. Continuing to mix at a slow speed, then add in the vanilla extract and sour cream.
  5. Stop and scrape down the sides again, then resume mixing at a slow speed.
  6. One at a time, mix in the eggs.
  7. Pour cheesecake batter into pan. *If you do not have a springform pan or if you just want to use a different shaped pan, you will line a 9-inch cake pan of your choice with aluminum foil. This will help you remove the cheesecake from the pan without messing it up.
  8. Place your pan inside another larger pan.
  9. Fill the outside pan halfway with warm water.
  10. Bake for one hour.
  11. After baking, turn off the oven, but DO NOT open the door. Leave the cheesecake inside the oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Next you will crack the oven door and leave cracked for an additional 30 minutes.
  13. Remove the cheesecake and place in the refrigerator to cool for 5-6 hours.

Directions for Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting:

  1. Put cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and then set to the side.
  2. In a separate bowl, pour heavy whipping cream vanilla extract, and powdered sugar and whip until you see soft peaks forming.
  3. Fold in the cream cheese and mix until stiff peaks form.
  4. Place frosting in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Directions for Cake Layers:

  1. Prepare your cake mix following your favorite recipe or boxed mix instructions and place cake in the oven to bake.
  2. Once done baking, remove the cake and allow to cool.
  3. Cut the top of the cake off to make the cake level.
  4. If you baked two cakes, you can use each cake as single layer or cut into halves for multiple layers. If you baked one cake, cut in the middle to create two even layers.
  5. Once cheesecake has adequately chilled, place the first cake layer down on a cake board or platter of your choice.
  6. Add about one cup of frosting and spread in an even layer. * You can use less frosting if you are making four thinner layers.
  7. Remove the now chilled cheesecake from the pan and put on top of frosted cake layer.
  8. Add another layer of frosting.
  9. Add second cake layer. *Repeat if you have additional cake layers.
  10. Top layer with additional frosting and then coat the sides of the cake.
  11. Slice strawberries and place around the edges of the cake but save one or two to decorate the top.
  12. Be sure to refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
Try out this recipe and let us know what you think!

Posted: January 20, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: Baking, Food & Nutrition, Highlands County 4-H, Youth Development

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