Having grown up in Boulder, attending the Boulder County Fair had been a summer staple for Gary and Audra. Becoming involved in the fair began in earnest for the Harders Family, Audra, Gary, Kara and Bud, in 1997 when Kara joined as a Cloverbud and her club leader, Karen Martindale, doled out family responsibilities for participating in the Boulder County Fair. What an honor to participate in the fair back then, and such an incredible honor being chosen as a 2021 Fair Family.
Since 1997, Gary and Audra have assumed many leadership positions within 4-H including Audra being the Clothing Superintendent for many years, and Gary assuming the responsibility of Natural Resources Superintendent through 2019. Gary and Audra together lead the Busy Beavers 4-H Club for 10 years until Audra accepted a position as the 4-H Secretary in the Extension Office in 2007. Gary continued as a Shooting Sports leader - .22 Rifle and Archery – through 2019.
Kara and Bud made the most of all that 4-H had to offer including many officer positions within the club. Kara explored clothing construction, heritage arts, cooking, cake decorating, and many more one-time projects. Her loves within the 4-H program were shooting sports, pigs, sheep and most of all, rabbits. Kara became a 4-H leader and has judged many project areas at fairs around Colorado, including State Fair. She also participated in the IFYE program, spending 6 months in Europe exploring agriculture in Finland and Germany.
Bud explored clothing construction, as well, along with gardening, woodworking, rabbits, sheep and goats, but mainly embraced shooting sports, becoming an active 4-H Shooting Sports leader after aging out as a member. He has also spent many years as the Biological Sciences Superintendent for the Boulder County Fair.
Both Kara and Bud excelled at public speaking and demonstrations at the county and state levels giving them the skills to successfully articulate today as they give presentations, workshops, interviews, as well as management communications.
As organizational leaders of the Busy Beavers 4-H Club, Gary and Audra helped many 4-H members discover new experiences by encouraging stepping out of family comfort zones and trying new projects. Living in the county, the Harders opened their property to not only shooting sports practices, but also offering the “city kids” a chance to show livestock by housing them at the Harders. Through this unique venture, members had the opportunity to care and show animals that wouldn’t fit in their backyard and helped them build friendships with members on either side of the “General” and “Livestock” project departments. One summer, Gary and Audra housed 4 sheep, 10 goats, 4 pigs, 40 rabbits, and an assortment of over 300 fowl on their back acreage. There were so many vehicles continually parked in the driveway, it looked like a party house on the quiet county road. Watching the members and their families embrace the opportunity to raise livestock confirmed to Gary and Audra the whole idea was a good thing.
The Boulder County Fair offers our county a great reminder of our cultural heritage as agriculture and livestock blend with STEM and general skills showing the diversity of a county shaped by the people who call it home The rich traditions of the Boulder County Fair and 4-H will help guide the future of Boulder County.