How Are Departments Judged During the Fair?

4-H uses the modified "Danish System" of judging. In this system, each entry is first judged against a standard or a set criteria. If all criteria are met, the exhibit receives a Blue (Excellent) ribbon. Once all entries are judged against the standard, all that have received the Excellent ribbon in an entered "lot" are then judged a second time - against each other. Thus, many submissions may have Excellent ribbons and of those, there will also be Blue, first, Red, second, and sometimes, White, third--the placings are based on quality above the standard and also depend upon the total number of entries in a judged lot.



The Art Department provides wonderful insight into the immense creativity and talent of 4-H'ers.  Every medium is presented from crayon to computer graphics.  In the collections of bright oil paintings and lively pencil sketches and exquisite block prints the viewer can't help but find something they wish were on the wall in their home.

Department Chair: Karen Fuller

Department Chairs: Sandy Couvee and Adrienne Card


The cat department showcases static entries only.

Department Chair: Cindy Linkel

This department is dedicated to 5 to 7 year olds.  Here, they exhibit any items which would be exhibited in a category, or "lot" in the Static Departments, if these, our youngest members, were old enough for competition - Art, Flowers, Crafts, Writing, etc.

Department Chair: Cindy Linkel


Department Chairs: Louise Donahue, Sarah Donahue

Department Chair:Isabella DeScenza

Department Chairs: Sandy Couvee and Adrienne Card

Department Chairs: Sandy Couvee and Adrienne Card

Department Chairs: Janice Peterson, Becky Solomon


The Dairy products department provides a showcase for youth to present all things produced for dairy milk. Products range for butters and yogurt to soft and hard aged cheeses. Youth also present projects based on equipment made for the production of dairy products and information poster presentations. Stop by the cooler in the staic building and see the effort and creativity of our youth.

Department Chair: Steve Hansen


For this area, youth create miniature event celebrations in "Teddy Bear Picnic", 3-dimensional "How To" exhibits explaining a particular craft or hobby, or proper and elegant table settings complete with menu and decor to match their imagined environment.

Department Chair: Sue Lukey


Department Chair: Laura Davidson

Education about some of today’s leading environmental topics and concerns, astronomy, identification of common natural items and dioramas of biomes.  Creative, fun and educational!  Oh and we mustn’t forget about our cool challenge lots – come check us out!

Department Chairs: Geraldine (Gerry) Kehoe and Jen O'Leary

The Field Crop a Department consist mainly of things you grow. Whether growing fresh things for the table, or growing food for your animals, we love to see your work! Share what you use to control pests and what is the best fertilizer to keep your things growing strong and healthy. Important information for all. 

Department Chair: Diana Moulton


A floral display of Specimens, arrangements and potted plants raised and cared for by 4-H members.  A spectacular array of color and a marvelous view of what the youth of today are capable of.  Come and be inspired.

Department Chair: Marcia Towey

Food, Glorious Food! The Food Department celebrates the joys of baking and provides a special showcase for youth to present their culinary masterpieces at the fair. From delicious homemade cookies and  brownies to stunning decorated cakes and pies, 4-Hers use their creativity and talent in the Kitchen to truly make some remarkable entries that would make anyone’s taste buds water. You’ll definitely be hungry after visiting this department.                     

Department Chairs: Amy Herrick, Chris Herrick

4-H members capture nature's goodness from the garden by canning and drying luscious fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  
Some harvest their own home-grown produceand others purchase abundant produce and can these foods into a project to be proud of and that can be enjoyed year round.  
Pickles,relish, jams, jellies, fruits, vegetables, sauces, and marmalades must be sealed byprocessing.  
Preserves are judged for safety, product quality, labeling, and eye appeal.

Department Chair: Brenda Foss Couture

The Fruit, Department consist mainly of things you grow. Whether planting a garden for fresh things for the table, or growing food for your animals, we love to see your work! Share what you use to control pests and what is the best fertilizer to keep your things growing strong and healthy. Important information for all.

Department Chair: Diana Moulton

It's all about the honeybees!  Our department celebrates bees and beekeeping. To promote, explore, and learn the vast uses of honeybee products, and to show howamazing honeybees are. From the queen, to the workers, to honeycomb, to royal jelly, and especially how those clever bees tirelessly work to make honey.

Department Chairs: Jerry and Janna Mendenhall


Welcome to the 4-H Fair Horse Department

Our mission is to present a safe and fun venue where 4-H members can show off their skills they've worked so hard on all year with their horse projects. The 4-Her's show their ability to care for, compete with, and have fun with their horses as they campout for the weekend overnight on the grounds.

The highlight for these 4-H members year, is to compete in our 3 day Fair Horse Show (Friday-Sunday).There they demonstrate their ability to handle and ride these beautiful animals. Classes are both English & Western style and include Gymkhana (games class), Equitation (flat classes), Jumping, Dressage, Trail, and 4-H Fitting and Showmanship.  We also have a mini horse division (in-hand) where 4H members that have horses under 12 hands perform some of the above classes by leading their projects from the ground on a lead rope.

Department Chairs: Dee Raftery and Erica Desfosses

A New England tradition, maple sugaring!  The Native Americans used to make slits in the trees, use wood bowls to catch the sap, and boil it down into maple syrup.  We still love that wonderful smell and taste. In this department we enjoy the whole process of sugaring and how maple syrup can be used.

Department Chairs: Jerry and Janna Mendenhall

The needlework department accepts all projects made using a needle or a hook.  Knitted, crocheted, needlepointed, embroidered, candlewicked, cross stitched, and appliqued items are all welcome, as well as those that use hook weaving and crewel.  Entered items can be clothing, rugs, or accessories, decorative, or useful in nature.   Items can be made from kits.   From beginner to expert, all entries are encouraged.  Creativity, unique design, and self expression are all desired.

Department Chair: Karen Rapiejko 

Each Club showcases their years work with cleverly created, people-powered floats and/or coordinated marching groups - Community Service, Fair Achievements, Team Work, Animal Management - themes change yearly - the idea is to highlight something attractive about 4-H and the Middlesex County 4-H Fair!

Department Chair: Betty Doubek

The Photography Department is always the largest department on the fairgrounds because everyone takes photo's. With the advent of digital photography you can even take a photo with your phone. With a large variety of categories, including black and white photo categories, 4Her's can always find a place for their best photo's from the last year. You can be a 4Her planning a career as a photographer or a 4Her who took one great photo there is a place for you in our department.

Department Chairs: Larry Couture, Joanne Yelle, and Lou Salamone

Department Chairs: Debbie Seale and Susan Hamilton


Department Chairs: Suzanne Sheehy, Lisa DeScenza

Come visit the Rabbit and Cavy (guinea pig) department for some great opportunities to watch a rabbit race, see a costume contest or watch youth members compete in front of a judge in showmanship with their animal.  Are you intersted in learning what it takes to make one of these furry creatures your own pet?  Come with your questions, and the 4-H youth will tell you everything you need to know about owning a rabbit or cavy.  You may also be interested to check out the new baby bunnies we often have available or our animal judging on the Friday of the fair where 4-H animals compete for Best of Breed and Best Pet.  


4-H youth showcase machine sewn items of clothing, home dec, quilting, toys, bags, and more.  Various fashion design, education and textile posters are also a part of this department.  Members also have the opportunity to wear or show their exhibited items in a Sunday afternoon fashion show on stage.

Department Chair: Elaine Twoomey


Department Chairs: Lisa Besse and Heidi Madison

Department Chairs: Sandy Couvee and Adrienne Card

The Vegetable Department consist mainly of things you grow.Whether planting a garden for fresh things for the table, or growing food for your animals, we love to see your work! Share what you use to control pests and what is the best fertilizer to keep your things growing strong and healthy. Important information for all.  Even if you are not into "Agriculture", you can enter and enjoy Container Gardens, each with its own story.  Fun, Fiedish or wacky veggie people are found among the entries in this Department, too.  Everyone can enter those - as well as the scariest scare crow!

Department Chair: Diana Moulton

Department Chair: Karen Rapiejko

The Workshop department provides an opportunity for 4H'ers to display their tool skills with items made of wood, metal, or other materials.  Emphasis is on practical items, whether in kit form or totally designed by the exhibitors.  The range of exhibits is enormous from bird houses to boats, and toys to electronics. 

Department Chair: Paul DeScenza