Division Descriptions

Division Description PDF to download here:  Division descriptions 2020

Links:   Division Descriptions, Activities, Scholarships, and Grants

The Whatcom County Youth Fair is a two-day learning fair.  It is not necessary to belong to any club or organization, or to own an animal, but it is advisable to bring your own.  Listed below are brief descriptions of each division.  The division superintendents will contact you after your entry is received to inform you of what, if anything, to bring to the fair.


Beef:  You will attend a clipping clinic, a Fit & Show clinic, followed by hands on practice. After clinics & practice, you will show your animal in the ring.  Animals must be at least three months of age, no horns, and clean but preferably not clipped. A Grant is available from Whatcom County Cattleman’s for purchase of an animal.  For more info see the Scholarships and grants page for application.

Calligraphy: Learn the techniques, letter forms and Art of Calligraphy using dip pens and ink. For ages 12 and up.

Cats:  After getting to know each other, we will be decorating cages, (cats are home on Friday, bring your cat on Sat only).  Following this you will learn how to prepare your cat for show, then practice fitting & showing.  Other activities may be a poster making contest, cat safety, and first aid.  Cat exhibitors must present proof of vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian for: Panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, calici viruses, a combination shot, and feline leukemia.  You must bring your own cat to be in this division.

Cavies:  You will learn about different breed characteristics, care, housing needs, and health care.  There will also be Type and Fit & Show classes.

Chess:  You will enhance, strengthen, and learn about the Game of Kings.  All skill levels are welcome, from beginners just getting started, to advanced. Learn exciting new chess strategies and test your skills with a mini chess tournament. FUN!

Country Crafts/Horticulture:  If you enjoy exploring new craft projects and want to learn about seeds, plants, gardens, and do crafts with a country motif, come join this division.

Creative Writing: : Attendees will be instructed on the nuts and bolts of writing, from facing that first blank page to seeing a completed work.  Among the topics we will explore are: Novels, character development, scene set up, poetry, prose, short stories, and more!

Dairy:  For novice to advanced dairy show-person, the division has classes on clipping, showing and judging.  There will also be other fun and educational classes as well as Fit & Show and Type classes. No horns on dairy cattle.

Dogs:  Crates are required, no pens will be provided. This will be a busy two days of obedience and sociability training along with several dog demonstrations and a talk by a local veterinarian.  All dogs must be at least six months old, have a rabies certificate dated within 36 months, and be current on all vaccinations to include Parvo and kennel cough.  Please bring proof with each dog.

Entrepreneurship:  Would you like to start your own business?  Here is a chance to learn about the whole process: marketing, bookkeeping, etc.  You will have an area to set up a booth to sell your product or service. Home baked goods must be individually wrapped. Hot foods must be cooked in a certified kitchen and have a food handler permit.

Goats:  In the goat division, (pygmy, dairy, meat) you will learn about proper care, grooming and hoof trimming.  There will also be a Fit & Show clinic and contest.  All goats will be required to have scrapies ID (ear tag or tattoo or other permanent form or identification) with flock number. For any questions regarding the federal program, please call the Wa. State Dept of Ag. (360)-902-1878.   No Horned animals allowed.

Horse: Two busy days of Horse related activities. You will learn judging, practice groom squad, basic vet care, and Fitting and Showing at halter class.  Please do not bring your own horse.  For the safety of the exhibitors, quiet horses are provided for the youth.  No riding.

Knitting:  Here’s your opportunity to learn the basics of knitting.  Create a variety of fabrics using different yarns and needles.  You will learn to do the knit & purl stitch, cast on, bind off, more advanced techniques for advanced knitters and go home with at least one small useful project and sample swatches.  Equipment will be provided. For ages 8 and up

Lawn Mower Pull:  Bring a riding lawnmower if possible and learn the ins and outs of tractor sled pulling, rules & regulations, how to keep your mower running and how to have fun competing with your mower.  Learn Basics of troubleshooting and machine maintenance.

Photography:  Introduction to camera basics. We will have Guest speakers who work in the photography field, a photo scavenger hunt & photo judging.  You will have fun learning how to take better pictures and express your creativity.  A digital camera will be needed. For ages 10 years old and up.

Posters & Charts:  All entrants to the Youth Fair are encouraged to enter posters in the Poster Division.  The posters will be displayed throughout the barns and serve as educational material for WCYF visitors.  All posters will be judged and receive constructive comments.  See the rules below for poster and display requirements to enter posters at the NWWF.


  1. Must have been made since April 8th, 2019
  2. Posters: Minimum size: 14”x 22” Maximum: 36″ x 48″
  3. Table Display: Check with Superintendent for display requirements.
  4. Posters will be received Friday, April 10, 2020,8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. in the Light Horse Barn, Saddle Room.
  5. Limited to one poster and one display per exhibitor.
  6. Name, age, and Youth Fair Division must be on the back of the poster or chart.
  7. Contact the Superintendent for scoring criteria and poster guidelines.
  8. Posters and displays will receive an award and/or a ribbon.
  9. An Educational how-to class including posters, charts, table displays will be offered to anyone interested including 4-H leaders at 4:30 on Friday, next to Light Horse Barn entrance.

Poultry:  Basic instruction on healthcare, identification, and raising of quality poultry will be covered.  Learn how to select and order poultry along with equipment and nutrition needs.  You will attend a Fit & Show clinic; get hands on experience, then wrap up day two with a Type and Fit & Show class.

Rabbits:   We will learn about rabbits through workshops, contests, crafts and games.  Participants will be more prepared for all the fairs, and more knowledge about rabbit care.  There will also be a costume, Fit & Show, and jumping center.  Bring your own solid bottom cage.

Rodeo:  Introduction to Jr. Rodeo and its events. Also learn to throw a rope, and the basics of riding a bucking barrel.  There will also be demonstrations of horse events, pole bending, barrel racing and other fun competitive activities.

Sheep:  This is a hands-on learning environment, instructing youth on feeding, training and showing.  We will work on following trends of the show industry.  Our department is obligated to abide by federal regulations with regards to official identification (scrapie tags) of all sheep. For any questions regarding the federal program, please call Wa. State Dept. of Ag (360)-902-1878. No Horned animals allowed.

Sewing:  In the sewing division, we will work on both hand and machine sewing skills, as well as building a working knowledge about tools, equipment, pattern use and fabrics. Through hands on activities, students will create projects for their sewing boxes and place setting activities intermingled with knowledge building games. For ages 8 years and up.

Swine:  You will attend a Fit & Show and Type clinic, followed by hands on practice.  You will also learn about different breeds and how to select a market animal.  Please bring an animal if possible!  We require erysipelas vaccinations for all swine.

Teen Leaders/Teen Management: Teen Managers serve as hosts and guides to exhibitors and parents and help manage between the office and the divisions.  Teen Leaders will be working with “Supers” in a specific division as hands on instructor coaches, and organizers of that division.  (Age Requirement of 13 years old for Teen Leaders.  Teen Management must have served one year as a Teen Leader and be approved by Youth Fair Manager.)

Woolcrafts:  Fleece from animal to project.  Learn the techniques of carding, drop spindle, hand spinning with spinning wheels, and dyeing wool in the Woolcrafts division.  Equipment will be provided. For ages 8 years and up.


 Silent Auction: This auction is held during the Youth Fair.  Funds from this auctions go to the scholarship and grant funds, which are available to the youth to help with higher education or acquiring a project animal from a local breeder, and into the general fund.   If you, or your business would like to donate items, products, or services to be auctioned during this event, please contact the Silent Auction Super Holly Linville  (360) 223-0078 or Theresa Greenwood(360) 510-6068

Livestock Judging Contest:  This is an official judging contest for our county! If you are a regular livestock judging contestant or are new to the experience, you are welcome!  We will be judging beef, sheep, swine and goats (if available) Saturday morning.  Meet at 8:00 AM in the Light Horse barn arena.

Awards Ceremony: All exhibitors and adults should plan on attending the awards ceremony Saturday afternoon.  Many awards will be given, including the Rich Waldemar and Bob Veenstra Inspirational Awards, Best Division Award, top youth awards and recognition of the many volunteers who make the youth fair work.

Hanging Basket Sale: Help support the Youth Fair by buying a  hanging basket certificate from VanWingerden Greenhouses.  See order information on entry form.  Please pick up baskets on Fridays if possible. Group orders should be arranged with Suzie Reynolds  360-384-5947

SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS: Applications PDF’s available! (Please see the Scholarship and grants page for downloadable applications. Link :Scholarships & Grants

Jay Paul Scholarship: The Jay Paul scholarship is open to Whatcom County High School Seniors or college students for studies in an agriculture related field.  This can be a tech school, community college, or a 4 year program.  Applicants must have been a Youth Fair participant, a Teen Leader or a Teen Super.

Mark Stap Scholarship:  The Mark Stap scholarship is open to all High School seniors going to college. They must have been a participant in the Youth Fair for 5 years or more, with at least one of those years as a Teen Leader or Superintendent.  Applicants do not have to be a Whatcom County resident.

Mark Stap Animal Grant:  This is a grant to help a youth fair participant to purchase a project animal to raise for a project.

Non-Animal Project Grant:  This is a grant to help a youth fair participant to purchase a non-animal item to support a project i.e.…spinning wheel, camera, loom, and sewing machine.

Whatcom County Cattlemen’s Grant: A Grant is Available from the Whatcom County Cattlemen’s for the purchase of a Beef animal. Applications are available on our Scholarship page.  Contact Amanda Stidham at 360-988-1891 for Paper Application.