The fearless and tireless leaders at the Minnesota State Fair 4-H building events — people like Sandy Ducharme (exhibits coordinator) and Colleen Byrne (Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development) make my job, as a 4-H video judge, effortless and exciting.

Those of us who judge — there are many categories: video, photography, clowning, animal sciences, technology and myriad others — receive effective, up-to-date training every year on how to formulate this judging experience to be the best possible for these young future leaders.

The staff that Ducharme has — all youth volunteers — does a great job of readying the building, artfully setting up the exhibits and accommodating the judges as needed to facilitate our efforts effectively.

Don’t miss the shows these youths put on, too: singing, dancing and delightful entertainment.

I can honestly say I am just as excited to judge this year as I was almost 20 years ago. These youths are engaged, engaging, full of energy, very talented and enthusiastic. So make sure you stop by one of the best places at the fair — the 4-H building. I can’t wait.