The eighth annual New Holstein FFA alumni and student chapter garden, crops and foods show attracted 276 entries from 36 contestants for the judging and awards program on Sept. 26. The top three placers in each of 63 categories were awarded $359 in cash prizes.

The number of contestants was down by three from a year ago, but the entry total was up by 26. The increase occurred in the preserved foods category. As an extra attraction, the awards program attendees were invited to estimate the height of a corn stalk (11 feet, 6 inches).

Contest judges were longtime county fair judge Byron Hacker of Chilton for the vegetables and fruits, Calumet County Extension Service agriculture agent Eric Ronk for the field crops and the county's Extension Service family living educator Paula Hella for the preserved foods.

Hacker provided some tips on selecting and displaying items for such shows. He also announced that in the coming years, the preserved food entries will need to be identified with labels stating the canning process and other relevant information.

New to the contest this year were a few dehydrated food entries and some artwork displays. As in the past, some of entrants donated their produce to the Helping Hands food pantry in New Holstein.

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