, Kingston, NH

September 20, 2012

Making Better Consumer Decisions

— STRATHAM - Taking a critical look at the quality of items was just the beginning for 4-H youth who accepted the Consumer Home Economics 4-H Judging Contest Challenge, one of many 4-H activities at this year’s 2012 Stratham Fair. Several classes required not only deciding the ranking of a class of four similar items but also explaining in writing the decision for placement classes. Some classes required taking knowledge quizzes based on 4-H project manuals.

4-H youth fair projects are judged by volunteers, but in the consumer judging program, youth become the judges and determine what is the best, second best, third best and bottom of each class. All knowledge quizzes are corrected and returned to the 4-H’ers to help them continue to “learn by doing.”

The placement classes are Clothing and Textiles, Foods and Nutrition, Arts and Crafts, Photography, and Home Improvement. In addition, toys were scrutinized for safety and age appropriateness if the youth was babysitting a 5 year old child. Another class featured a “consumer spending within a budget” division.

An engraved plaque was presented by Stratham Fair to the highest scoring individual in each of the 4-H age groupings. The highest scoring youth were: Nathan James, 10, of Exeter, Novice Class; Muriel Bennett, 10, of Epping, Junior Division; Turner Jennings, 12, of Center Barnstead, Intermediate Division; and Brandie Rice, 18, of Fremont, Senior Division.

Additional 4-H youth in the Novice Division were: AJ Robidas, 13, Barrington; Chris Garcia, 13, Strafford; Patrick Marcoux, 10, Brentwood; Samantha Marcoux, 9, Brentwood; and Joe Garcia, 10, Strafford.

Participants in the Intermediate Division were Emily Gibson, 13, Lee; Jolene Levesque, 13, Fremont; Ryan Crouch, 13, Lee; Sammy Merrill, 12, Stratham; Jacob Scruton, 13, Farmington; Cole Atherton, 12, Lee; and Riley Johnson, 11, East Kingston.

Senior Division participants were Gillian Robidas, 15, Barrington; Deanna Scruton, 16, Farmington; Justin Fones, 18, Madbury; Chris St. Pierre, 16, Lee; Jenny Elwell, 15, Stratham; Christine LaMoré, 15, Newmarket; Tristan Baker, 15, Exeter; Mary Claire Attisano, 14, Lee; and Zander Allen 14, Rochester.

The 4-H Youth Development program of UNH Cooperative Extension strives to create supportive program environments where youth have a sense of belonging and a desire to grow in knowledge and skill. For more information on 4-H clubs and programs in Rockingham County, call 603-679-5616 or visit