4-H participation helps family prepare for fair

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For Reneta Kawcak and her family, the three weeks leading up to the Moffat County Fair will be a bit hectic.

With Reneta, her husband, Frank, and her three daughters, Brittni, 18, Sarah, 16, and Dani, 12, all intimately involved in 4-H, the fair is the cumulation of many hours of hard work throughout the past year.

"We have worked on (the projects) every day, but now we'll put in more hours getting everything ready," she said. They live on a ranch outside Craig where the girls can work with their livestock projects all the time.

Reneta credits the 4-H program for her daughters' leadership skills, as well as providing family time.

All three girls have projects in the fair, Frank is involved with the 4-H Foundation and Reneta is on the 4-H Council. She also helps with the hospitality at the fair.

Because everyone is so involved in the fair, the family loads up the camper and spends the week at the fairgrounds.

Reneta moved to Craig when she was in eighth grade and said it was Frank -- who grew up in Craig and was active with the FFA -- who encouraged the family's participation in 4-H.

She said it was the area, though, that has kept them so involved.

"Moffat County is really welcoming to those who have no clue what to do. From the leaders to junior leaders to the parents, everyone is willing to help out," she said.

"I wouldn't raise my kids anywhere else," she added. "It's reassuring that this is home."

Each daughter has taken a different route through 4-H.

Sarah is the most active. Along with her fair projects, she has taken an interest in livestock judging. Earlier this month, she received an award at the state 4-H conference for being the top individual in sheep judging. She traveled to Washington, D.C., a week later for a 4-H leadership symposium.

Reneta's eldest daughter, Brittni, will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the fall. She received the Chancellor's Leadership Scholarship, and Reneta said she thought Brittni's involvement in 4-H, including being a junior leader, played a big role in that achievement.

Dani is following her sisters' footsteps in 4-H, but outside her projects, the athletic Dani has an interest in basketball.

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