GreenStone Sponsors & Volunteers at Michigan UP State Fair for 36 Years
Michigan UP State Fair Header Image


GreenStone has always found ways to be involved within our community, and for the past 36 years, we have sponsored the Michigan UP State Fair. There are a handful of events that we have been able to sponsor, but volunteering has become dearer to our hearts and allows us to make a difference in our community!


At the UP State Fair, we have many GreenStone employees from the Escanaba branch volunteer to judge the record books submitted and present the trophies to the winners. These employees include Steve Zimmerman, Lori Rasmussen, Carrie Lockwood, Ann Harrington, and others. 


Each participant that enters an animal in the fair must complete a record book of all their activities. It contains information such as the animal’s weight gain record, feed usage record, their cost record, etc. Once the data is recorded, then calculations are completed for the profit outcome, break-even prices, and weight gain efficiency. On top of this, the record book contains narrative questions relating to their project and animal care. 


There are twelve classes of entries within the beef, swine, sheep, and goat species. Each of these twelve classes have a total of more than 350 entrants. This project has become more and more popular within the 4-H community and is much more comprehensive. The best participants can compare their current projects with past ones and can determine if anything needs to be changed for the years to come. 


“As judges, we look for specific information,” said Steve Zimmerman. He cited:

  1. Completeness to their record book.  Judges expect that each youth will enter information into their record book monthly during their project. Projects can begin in October–May and end on the first day of the fair. 
  2. Accuracy of calculations for totals, ratios, and comparisons. 
  3. Accuracy to what an industry standard would be for each class of market livestock. (Average daily gain, feed cost per pound of gain, break-even calculation, net profit, etc.)
  4. Accurate and thorough answers to the narrative questions.
  5. Project pictures

Steve Zimmerman has been a part of this effort for the 36 years that GreenStone has sponsored it. He has been able to train other volunteers to judge, help create judging criterion, and interview participants to see what they have been learning as years pass. Steve has also been able to come up with informational sessions for leaders, parents, and youth participants as to why and how their record book is judged. This is a way to offer suggested improvements so they can understand why they received their specific score. 


Each of the judges has a class and needs to determine the best record book or books in a class. The top 2-6 record books in a class are then selected for a personal interview with the judges. The interviews are questions about their project and something specific to the species and industry.  Many times, the interviews can determine the trophy winner.  


The UP State Fair Market Livestock Record Book has been used at many other county fairs and 4-H groups to bring this project and its learning content to other locations. Over the past three years, GreenStone has received many acknowledgements and thanks for sponsoring this fair and making it what it is today. Not only do we sponsor and volunteer at the fair, we want to change the way people view 4-H and the agriculture industry, and our employees who volunteer are doing just that. 


The Michigan UP State Fair runs from August 16th-22nd this year. For more information about the fair, visit their site here: Upper Peninsula State Fair, Escanaba Michigan ( 


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