Fashionable sisters

Champion clothing skills run in Clarkfield family

Photo by Jim Muchlinski Rachel, Elizabeth and Addison Jorgens of rural Clarkfield all won champion clothing ribbons this week at the Yellow Medicine County Fair in Canby.

CANBY — Clothing skill and knowledge runs in the family for three Yellow Medicine County 4-H members.

Three Clarkfield area sisters; Rachel, Elizabeth, and Addison Jorgens; will all take home champion ribbons for clothing entries after the 2019 Yellow Medicine County Fair. Thursday was the first of four days of 4-H shows and entertainment attractions at the county fairgrounds in Canby.

They all learned to make clothes at an early age from their grandmother, Lois Fenske, and one of their great-grandmothers, Bethel Fenske.

“They were both very good teachers,” said Rachel, the oldest of the three. “It was hard to learn at first. It gets easier with practice.”

Rachel qualified for the Minnesota State Fair with her county fair clothing results. Both Elizabeth and Addison said they hope for the same achievement when they become old enough for State Fair eligibility.

Their 2019 ribbons include both purchased clothing and clothes you make. Rachel said the purchased clothing option isn’t necessarily an easier project, since entries have to be carefully selected for style as well as usefulness and affordability.

“The judges ask us where we bought it, how much it cost, what accessories go well with it, what we have to do to care for it, and why we like it,” she said. “We need good, well-rounded answers for all of that. Part of the goal is to find a good deal and to choose something that’s well-made.”

All three sisters said they like to buy or make their own clothes, especially their own dresses. They had a special occasion this summer to serve as a reason for choosing formal apparel since a family farm employee, Amber Miller, will be getting married.

Rachel bought a new dress that has a teal color and lace trim. Elizabeth chose one that has a variety of colors and patterns blended together in a way that tastefully stands out.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” Elizabeth said. “I wanted something that was colorful and cool, a dress that would look nice at a summer event.”

Addison made her own outfit and then bought a pendant to go with it. Her jewely accessory has a well-defined geometric pattern, one that allows it to complement the solid color light blue dress.

“I planned it as something that would be good to wear in the summer and sometimes in the spring,” Addison said. “It can where it to school, to church, or practically anywhere.”

Addison said 2019 was her best 4-H year yet for clothing ribbons. The sisters were gearing up for their other main project competition on Thursday, the Yellow Medicine County Fair 4-H sheep show.

They and their older brother, Colin, are the latest of several generations to be part of 4-H. They’ve participated in the Prairie Runners 4-H Club, which includes several townships just west of Clarkfield. They attend Dawson-Boyd Public Schools.

The sheep competition fits in with the daily routine at their family’s farm. The farm operation includes sheep production as well as corn, soybean and wheat crops.

They said 4-H rewards add up more every year. Each of them recommends 4-H to friends; whether they live on a farm, on a rural acreage, or in a town.

“It’s a great way to learn new things, make friends in our own club and with others who are part of 4-H, and to choose from many different opportunities,” Rachel said. “Also it’s something to do in the summer that keeps us from getting bored. We always look forward to showing projects at the fair.”


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