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State Fair

September 07, 2018

Bracht, Troyer compete in state fair

By Mitchell Lierman and Kendra Paasch

            For many students, Labor Day weekend is a time to relax and take a break from hectic school life. Being the first three-day weekend of the year, students are often ready to crash by the time Labor Day rolls around. But others don’t have time to waste.

            Labor Day weekend also brings around the Nebraska State fair, and for 4-Hers like Michael Bracht, this means being even busier than normal. Bracht participates in robotics as a member of the Burt County 4-H Club based in Lyons. He presented a short demonstration of his robot and gave an overview of his experiences with robotics over his 7 year involvement with 4-H.

“I kind of threw it together the night before,” Bracht laughed. “We didn’t have anything before the Burt County fair, and what we had wasn’t really much. I pretty much made the presentation from scratch.”

Bracht took to the podium at 2:30 and was greeted by cheers of encouragement from his friends and family. The presentation walked through the process of building, coding, and entering a robot in a 4-H competition. Following the presentation, judges asked Bracht a series of questions about how new members might get involved with robotics.

Ashton Troyer was among the audience for Bracht’s presentation. Troyer had been at the fair since 9 a.m., when she arrived to check in for the rodeo cutting events. Troyer has participated in the state fair’s rodeo events through the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association for three years, focusing most of her efforts on cutting.

Cutting is an event in which a horse and a rider work together in a performance in front of judges. The rider has two and a half minutes to cull at least two separate calves from the herd and mimic their movements, gaining points for “savvy and style” as per the rulebook. Troyer scored 72 out of 80 possible points for her run, earning her second place out of seven skilled riders.

While oftentimes it is easy for athletes to draw attention to themselves, it is important to recognize the achievements of students who participate in activities outside the scope of high school. Bracht and Troyer both have dedicated significant time and energy to their activities, and their continued involvement with these organizations demonstrates the passion that makes these programs excellent opportunities for developing students into community leaders.

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