Hannah Bennington can’t remember exactly how many projects she completed for the Daviess County 4-H Show this year.
“I think it was somewhere around 39,” said Bennington who is now in her seventh year of 4-H. “I just take projects that really interest me. I read through the project requirements and try to find topics related to areas of study I’m interested in.”
This year some of Bennington’s interests include crafts, cake decorating, electricity, weather, reading and electricity, collections, Abraham Lincoln and photography to name a few.
“Just a few years ago, I started doing the weather project. I liked it so much I started doing other natural resources projects too,” said Bennington, who will be a sophomore at North Daviess. “I just really found those types of projects really interesting. I also really enjoy history.”
Bennington said she hasn’t always taken so many projects. In fact, her first year, she only took a handful.
“When I started in 4-H, I took cat poster, dog poster, crafts and foods,” she said. “I’ve just kept adding a few more each year.”
And in most cases, once Bennington starts a project, she continues to do it each year.
“I took collections a couple of years and then they changed the requirements so I didn’t take it a time or two,” said Bennington, who last year displayed a collection of hockey cards and this year, a collection of Pink brand stuffed dogs. “And I showed cats a year or two, but I don’t have a cat really tame enough for that anymore.”
Completing so many projects, Bennington said, has really helped her with time management.
“I usually start most of my projects right after school gets out. There are a few things I can do throughout the year too,” said Bennington, who said still, some projects, like cake decorating, need to be completed closer to project check-in.
Bennington said many of her projects require completing posters.
“If you put in the time and effort on your posters, you will do well,” said Bennington, who said completing the posters doesn’t necessarily require fancy tools but rather just a little creativity, a little research and a little careful reading.
“You want to make sure you read the project requirement manuals and the 4-H handbook,” she said. “Once you’ve met those basic requirements, you can put your own stamp on the poster and really make it yours.”
Finding interesting information and citing your sources, Bennington said, is also important.
“4-H posters allow me to communicate my knowledge on a certain topic to others without having to get up and speak in front of a group,” said Bennington. “I always try to find information that I think is interesting or that others may not already know.”
While Bennington has won her fair share of blue ribbons and taken reserve grand or grand champion honors in many of her projects over the years, there’s still something to take away from projects that don’t always turn out how you expect.
“I don’t always get a blue ribbon and that’s OK. This is the second year I’ve taken photography and both years, I’ve got red. I always look back at the judge’s comments and see what I can do to improve next year,” she said.
The Daviess County 4-H Show continues through Friday at the grounds in Eastside Park.