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Nobles County 4-H'er Kendrick Bickett, shown here with his Maine Anjou heifer, Boo, is eager for the 2018 Nobles County Fair this week in Worthington, Minn. Bickett is a former Minnesota 4-H Ambassador and is heavily involved in the youth organization. (Julie Buntjer / Forum News Service)

From livestock shows to malts, Bickett loves the Nobles County Fair

WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Kendrick Bickett may have become a Cloverbud 4-H’er when he was 5 years old to carry on a family tradition, but it was the opportunity to earn ribbons at the county fair — and later, to gain valuable leadership skills — that hooked this rural Worthington teen on the youth organization.

Bickett has been busy walking, primping and preparing his livestock for 4-H competitions that begin today and continue through Saturday at the Nobles County Fair in Worthington.

The oldest of Tim and Stacy Bickett’s three children, Kendrick has one more year of eligibility in the youth program. He has put a lot of time and effort into preparing his livestock and general projects for the fair — and preparing himself — to do well this week.

“I just want to wrap it all up and say, ‘Man, I had a blast,’” he said. “That’s my goal.”

From the time he joined 4-H, the one project area that has been a constant for Bickett is beef. Showing cattle, along with pigs — added to his project list about half a dozen years — are two of his favorite things about the Nobles County Fair.

“I really like beef and swine,” Bickett said, adding that he and his siblings, Emmett and Karissa, purchase show pigs for their swine project, and lease beef animals from their uncle, Shane Rose.

Bickett also showed sheep for a while, though he now leaves that project to his sister. His non-livestock projects have included photography, veterinary science, fishing sports and safety.

While the county and state fairs are certainly big highlights of the 4-H year, Bickett is one of those 4-H members who has taken advantage of the many other opportunities available in the youth organization.

For the past four years, he’s served as a camp counselor during 4-H Camp at Lake Shetek. He has also attended numerous leadership programs through 4-H, including the regional BLU (Building Leadership and Understanding) and statewide YELLO (Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Outloud). Bickett served one year as a Minnesota 4-H Ambassador, and as a county 4-H Ambassador for several years. In addition to the leadership opportunities, Bickett has also been a part of Nobles County’s 4-H Interstate Exchange program, and has traveled to both Texas and Idaho to stay with 4-H’ers.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting a whole bunch of people who are going to be lifelong friends,” Bickett said of the activities he’s been involved in through 4-H.

While making many new friends along the way, Bickett has become a role model for younger 4-H members through his leadership roles, particularly as a camp counselor and 4-H Ambassador. He credits the organization with giving him the skills to work with others.

“I just try to be outgoing and try to be everybody’s friend,” Bickett said. “I think 4-H has really taught me how to be an outgoing person.”

He has also learned organizational and time-management skills, as well as ag-related information that helped him find success in organizations like the FFA.

Bickett credits 4-H for leading him toward a career in an agricultural-related field. He will be a freshman at South Dakota State University in Brookings this fall, where he plans to major in ag business and minor in animal science.

A member of the Elk Tip Toppers 4-H Club, Bickett currently serves as vice-president (his brother, Emmett, is president), and looks forward to being involved in 4-H activities when he can this next year.

As Bickett eyes his final year as a 4-H’er, he says he wants to have no regrets. He’s already planning to volunteer with the organization in the future, whether it’s in Nobles County or somewhere else.

When Bickett isn’t preparing his livestock for the show ring this week, you might find him around the fairgrounds with his second favorite fair activity — eating a chocolate-strawberry malt.

“(County fair) is a great place — tons of fun,” he added with a grin.

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