This past Saturday, I went down to Caroline County for Judging School. The classes are to teach you how to be a certified fair judge. I signed up to take 3 classes. Interview Judging, Cut flowers/plants and Vegetables/produce.
You have to take several classes and then go before a certified judge and be mentored before you're actually be certified. It's also good to take refresher courses once you become certified.
Here's the schedule for the day.
The first part of the class was an orientation and ethics class.
The lady pictured below is Hazel. She started the Judging school many years ago to make sure judges knew what they were looking for and how to judge certain things. She seemed like a very special lady. Those who knew her only had good things to say about her.
We learned many things like how to judge, why we judge, what to look for when judging and to be fair at all times.
Then it was time for our first class so I headed over to the table where my class was being held. My first class was Interview Judging with Cathy. Cathy went over a bunch of things you ask a child when you're judging an item they made or brought in. This is mainly for 4-H children. It's becoming really popular at fairs and Caroline County wants to bring it to their fair next year. It was interesting. We had a young man (10 years old) show us a robot he built and a drone and we got to ask him questions about it. He was way to smart for me. I know nothing about robots or drones. But it's always good to have a mix of judges. Judges that are experienced in the category and those who aren't that will ask a bunch of questions.
After an hour it was time for our 2nd class. This class was cut flowers/plants and was taught by Master Gardner Cheryl. She was awesome.
There were some examples on the table for us to judge and say what we saw wrong with an entry.
Here's Cheryl going over some things.
After an hour, the 2nd class ended and it was time for lunch. There was a VDOT event going on at the fairgrounds and they were having a field day with VDOT workers. They cooked up a bunch of BBQ and made us all plates. When I opened the container, I couldn't believe how much food was in there. LOL We had a BBQ Sammich, baked beans, cole slaw and potatoes. I was so stuffed. I sat with my instructor Cheryl and we just talked about gardening and baking etc. We then split a small piece of pumpkin ginger cake and it was divine. So delicious.
After lunch we then went to our 3rd class. Mine was the vegetables/produce class. I was the only person taking this class and my instructor was Cheryl again. So I pulled my chair right up to the table to learn as much as I could.
I was given a packet of info on how to judge veggies and there were plenty of samples of produce to judge.
Afterwards, Cheryl asked me if I wanted any of the veggies and I said "sure, whatever you don't want" and she loaded up a bag full of stuff. Here's what she gave me.
I had a lot of fun and I want to take some more classes. There's more classes offered in the spring. I want to learn how to judge baked goods. I hope they offer that next year. I would still be able to enter my baked goods but I just can't be present during judging nor could I judge that category.