A 3-cookie contest lets him eat the rest
by Holly Davis
For many Jefferson County 4-H members, the week of the fair can be an exciting time, a sigh of relief, or just plain busy and hectic.
Most members, however, realize that it’s a time for receiving recognition for all of the hard work they have put into their projects.
For 10-year-old Gage Burdiek, Valley Falls, the fair is exciting because it’s what he looks forward to all year long.
He has been part of the Valley Victors 4-H Club for three years now, and has been involved with many projects throughout his membership.
This year, he will be taking projects in arts and crafts, cooking, horticulture, poultry, and reading.
Some of his arts and crafts projects include a football-printed tie blanket, Star Wars-themed recipe box, handmade para cord bracelet, matchbox Christmas tree, and a cake postcard.
Gage says he gets many of his ideas with the help of his mom and sister who have Pinterest, a popular website where members can share crafty ideas.
“4-H has helped me on my art skills,” he said.
As for gardening, Gage has spent much of his summer tending to the garden at his home. He grew tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, green beans, cabbage, and watermelon.
For his poultry project, he will be showing his ducks which live at his Grandpa Coleman’s house. Throughout the year, he tends to them, and during the approaching days to the fair, he has to wash their white feathers for presentation.
He tended to the ducks when they were just eggs in an incubator, and he watched them change and grow. After having to take care of them, he has learned the importance of responsibility.
Gage’s favorite category that he is entered in would have to be cooking, he said. For this year’s project, he will be baking cookies from his favorite recipe book that is all about the delicious treat.
Although he doesn’t necessarily like the clean-up that often comes with cooking, he likes the fact that he only has to enter three cookies and gets to eat the rest!
The busy soon-to-be fifth-grader says it has been a challenge for him to find time this summer for all of his projects because of his dedication to baseball.
Luckily, however, he learned in time that if you start on your projects earlier in the year, you have more time to be– well– a boy!
Gage said he also realizes that 4-H is about volunteering and is excited about working the concession stand.
He even helped his dad, Butch, last week lay a concrete ramp at the fairgrounds for better access to those in wheelchairs.
And when all the hard work is done, Gage loves the social part of being in 4-H.
“You get to meet new people and make new friends,” he said.
His mom, Lorena, is a big supporter of 4-H and is happy that Gage is being involved and learning new things.
“I think 4-H is a great opportunity for kids in the community,” Lorena said. “With every new project, they learn from something that they wouldn’t necessarily have done if it weren’t for being in 4-H.”
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