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Thankfully, the fair is over for another year. But, I still have a rant to get off my chest. The Floriculture Show was Thursday. The kids (8 and 9) and I got up early and started cutting flowers for the arrangements and specimens for the show. They have an adult division and a Junior division. As usual, I spend so much time helping the kids with their arrangements, I don't get any entered. They each entered five arrangements and several specimens. The rules state the flowers must be ones you have raised, so we were out on the porch and in the yard stripping flowers for the arrangements. In the miniature category - they used these tiny flower pots and used Sprengeri fern for the filler. DD used flowers off the wax plant (Hoya carnosa) in the dining room and DS used flowers off the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia) on the porch. I went in yesterday to work the 4-H building and found both of their arrangements had been disqualified. On the comment card the judge wrote - Must use real flowers! What kind of an idiot flower judge can't tell the difference between real and fake flowers!!!

I have had my rant and feel a little better now. I have no problem if my children lose fairly, but to lose because of this just makes my blood boil.

On the positive side - DS got Best of Show with a rose and DD won a couple of ribbons too and a third in the Home Ec show.
 

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Mother,Artist, Author
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I agree with Ravenlost, I would bring it up!! Mention it to whomever heads the 4-H in your area, and who usually hosts that fair.

To be disqualified, is to be disqualified. But it sounds as if your kids were unfairly disqualified.
 

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A few years ago my wife and friends starting getting involved with the local fair entering their fiber arts stuff - spinning, knitting etc.

I was shocked to find out how much politics is involved with these kind of deals. Friends on the judging panel, petty squabbles, revenge, etc.

I guess politics really is in everything these days.
 

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We had something happen like this happen last year when my daughter had a project go to the state fair. She was marked down for not having a paper attached to her project. She said "Mom, I know I put that paper on the bottom of my project just like they told us to do." Sure enough after the state fair was over, we got the project home and the paper was attached exactly where it was supposed to be.

Our local 4H replaced the judges in the photography class. The former judges would mark certain kids down for the nonexistent things. Other kids could get away with not meeting to requirements listed in the book, and still get high markings. :flame:

Our daughter's best friend got marked down this year on a wood working project. The judge said that her father must have made it for her. We are close to this family and have watched her working on it for the past year. Her dad would have HER redo things until she got it right, but she did do the work.

Sometimes we are ready to give up 4H all together. We stay with it, because learn new skills, how to set goals, and make great friendships. They also learn, life isn't always fair, deal with it.
 

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One of the lessons that children (and their families) learn is that 4-H, FFA, and county fairs are not what most folks expect. This is because humans are in charge. :rolleyes:

Politics, favoritism, and money very often are the factors that influence the outcome.

I do think, however, that a letter to the fair board with information about the flowers would be appropriate in your case.
 

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Yes, you should write a letter to the committee/director for the fair. Include photographs and as much information as you can to give them as true a picture of the situation as you can. You are educating judges so that the same MISTAKE will not be made again.

Judges, particularly in a county fair, may not be experts, they may simply be volunteers who have a history of beautiful arrangements. They may not be familiar with all flowers. Give the judge an opportunity to explain.

Judges have their prejudices. They may not like avant-garde, no matter how skillfully done. They may not like pastels. They may have seen the arrangement done before and before and before and before. A livestock judge may judge condition over conformation no matter what the point distribution may say.

To prevent mistakes or prejudice or to help make the competitions more fair in your estimation, volunteer. Most of the judges are volunteers. They put in their time; have you? They make mistakes, but they may also be looking at hundreds of exhibits and in each class there's only one winner.

Then there is the point that always gets made in these threads, if you don't like the way the competition runs, then don't compete.
 

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Hey.

Use poison ivy next year...they won't have any trouble telling it's real;-)

RF
 

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Retired farmer-rancher
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I have this crazy idea. All parents should be banned from kids activities. Parents almost got in fights this year at the local fair livestock judging. I used to coach kids baseball,,,,many times wished I could ban parents.
 

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ksfarmer said:
I have this crazy idea. All parents should be banned from kids activities. Parents almost got in fights this year at the local fair livestock judging. I used to coach kids baseball,,,,many times wished I could ban parents.

Just make sure you have non-relatives, non-parents, non-coaches of the contestants as the judges. Preferably from out of town. Otherwise, you will have nepotism and favoritism sneaking in.

Angie
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There was only one person on the committee at the fairgrounds today when we picked up ribbons and vases. She didn't even know who the judge was, the fair board had gotten the judge. BTW - this was an open show, not a 4-H show. Maybe next year I should have a list and picture of each flower we use on the plant. I realize that you can't expect a judge at one of these county shows to know every flower out there, but they should at least be able to tell a real flower from a fake one.

Unfortunately, I know this fair board well and this is a no-win situation. If you complain about something, you are just being a sore loser and good luck ever winning anything else. My kids both have several years left in 4-H and I don't want some people taking out their anger at me on them. I also was told that the kids had to enter the junior division and couldn't compete in the adult division. I guess this rule doesn't apply to the girl that entered both divisions and won ribbons in both.

I'm not even going to go into the mess that goes on in the junior market livestock shows.
 

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FiddleKat said:
ROFLOL....................good idea Rocky!!!
Poison Ivy is an excellent idea!! And since it doesn't like to follow rules, it is a perfect plant. Find some with shiny leaves, some with dull. Some notched, some not. Low to the ground, taller, and then vine up a tree (extra points for a shrub, those are harder to find).
But on a serious note, so sad to see that our divided country has reached new lows these days. Sigh, I bet these folks believe they are 'good' people too.
 

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Selena said:
Poison Ivy is an excellent idea!! And since it doesn't like to follow rules, it is a perfect plant. Find some with shiny leaves, some with dull. Some notched, some not. Low to the ground, taller, and then vine up a tree (extra points for a shrub, those are harder to find).
But on a serious note, so sad to see that our divided country has reached new lows these days. Sigh, I bet these folks believe they are 'good' people too.
Our divided country?

The problems regulated posted here about livestock shows and flower shows have been happening as long as there have been livestock shows and flower shows. It has nothing to do with politics, paganism, abortion, global warming, or breast-feeding. :rolleyes:

karenrbw said:
There was only one person on the committee at the fairgrounds today when we picked up ribbons and vases. She didn't even know who the judge was, the fair board had gotten the judge. BTW - this was an open show, not a 4-H show. Maybe next year I should have a list and picture of each flower we use on the plant. I realize that you can't expect a judge at one of these county shows to know every flower out there, but they should at least be able to tell a real flower from a fake one.

Unfortunately, I know this fair board well and this is a no-win situation. If you complain about something, you are just being a sore loser and good luck ever winning anything else. My kids both have several years left in 4-H and I don't want some people taking out their anger at me on them. I also was told that the kids had to enter the junior division and couldn't compete in the adult division. I guess this rule doesn't apply to the girl that entered both divisions and won ribbons in both.

I'm not even going to go into the mess that goes on in the junior market livestock shows.
The cure is to get involved. An open show? Put on your own. 4-H? Persistence, time, and dedication will put you in position to make improvements from within.

You're willing to put up with incompetence, discrimination, ignorance so your kids can will ribbons in the future? So it wasn't the situation, it was that your kids didn't win ribbons?

Organizations and the programs they present, shows, competitions, whatever, are ultimately only as honest, fair, and informed as the people in them.
 
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