Some would be chosen to sample cakes. While others would rank cookies based on flavor, texture and complexity of recipe.
Still others would closely examine each stitch of a finely crafted pillow.
Mary Joy, homemakers superintendent at the Bee County Junior Livestock and Homemakers Show, praised the youths and their work on this year’s entries.
“We even had an increase in the number of entries,” she said. “The creativity level though, was magnified by 10.”
She pointed over to a pillow at which one of the judges had just finished looking.
“The child said her grandmother gave her a quilt to make it with,” Joy said.
Family — that is at the heart of this show.
Joy turned her head right and glanced back at the far end of the tables at a horse head crafted from old tools and farm equipment scrap found on the ranches of the child’s grandparents.
“She picked up bits and pieces of metal and put it together.”
Of course there are multiple tables of cookies, cakes, brownies, jellies and salsa ready to be judged.
“When you can teach an 8-year-old to bake and cook in the kitchen, then you have done something,” she said.
Volunteers also are in integral part of this show.
And on Tuesday morning they were everywhere inside the Expo Center. Some were judging. Others were helping and answering questions.
Paul Jaure is one of the veteran judges at the show.
“It is amazing to see what a family can do,” he said.
Each project, he explained, isn’t the work of a child left alone with a recipe or a hammer. It is the work of a family — parents helping the children and teaching them something useful.
“I think the main thing is the time spent with the family. That is what is important,” he said.
“People will say, ‘How can a 9- or 10-year-old do something like that?’ But it is the mom and dad working with that child.”
As he looked over the pieces he admits he is impressed with the creativity of so many of the young people.
Like Joy, he was impressed with the horse but he also praised a car crafted from bolts and other scrap metal and a pair of metal sunflowers welded to spin in the wind.
“I am amazed at the creativity of some of these youths,” he said.
The Internet, and sites like Pinterest, likely influenced and spurred the children forward.
Even so, he knows that the child didn’t do it alone.
“I am amazed to see what mom, dad and the kids can do together,” he said with a smile. “It takes a village...”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.