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It’s hands-on at Western Family Consumer Science Show

RAPID CITY, SD – In this day and age of ‘global everything,’ there is one particular show that for the past 57 years has been advocating home-grown, home-made and local.  The Western Family Consumer Science Show Oct 9-12 on the Pennington County Fairgrounds, showcases the ways and the results of a do-it-yourself approach. Volunteer Ladonna McKnight, Rapid City say there is something of value to be learned for all ages – whether from rural areas or local communities.

“It used to be what was known as home economics,” explains McKnight.  “In the late 90’s, the name was changed to family and consumer science.  It’s about building life skills and learning by doing – as is the 4-H way.”

The consumer side of the Western Junior Livestock Show came into focus decades ago when organizers of the livestock event saw the value of presenting the end-use of any particular commodity – grains, meats, textiles and more.

“Over 50 years ago, organizers of the livestock show along with Extension personnel who were involved in that aspect, asked home economics agents to come with something” relates McKnight.  “That led to the beginning of the family and consumer sciences show.  It has grown every year since.”

The generational connection of families is changing.  But at the family consumer science show, that knowledge network comes together and is shared with participants and spectators.

“We have grandma’s who are on the board or work with the board coordinating contests ,” says McKnight. “Their kids were participants in the show and now their grandkids and even some of their great-grandkids are.  We welcome everyone of all ages.”

From style shows with hand sewn garments to bread baking or identifying quality produce and meats and preservation techniques, the Western Family Consumer Science Show offers a number of events.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re from the country or the town, there’s something for everyone to do. The public is always welcome to come and observe and participate,” says McKnight.

This years honoree at the Western Family Consumer Science Show is the Central States Fair organization that has provided the use of facilities and other resources to the show over the past 50 years.

See more on the Western Family Consumer Science Show on Facebook.

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