One goal of every youth livestock exhibitor is to win that shiny belt buckle -whether it’s for showmanship or their market class, every exhibitor wants one. But where does that buckle come from? Since 1992, Salene Duarte has managed the youth 4-H awards including the design, ordering and sponsorship of the buckles. In just 4-H awards, there are upwards of 40 buckles and almost $10,000 worth of sponsorships. “She really know was she wants,” said Kyra Evans, representing Showtime Awards. “It’s a high volume order and she is very particular about how the design of the buckle. She’s a pleasure to work with and you can tell she really cares about the kids.” Santa Clara County Fair buckles were even featured in Las Vegas at the International Fairs & Expositions Convention this past month.
Salene has a long history with the fair, starting at 9 years old with her first sheep in Foothill 4-H. She continued her participation by also joining FFA in high school. By sophomore year she was helping to move hogs for the livestock auction and has continued to volunteer ever since. Not only does she manage the 4-H awards, but she has also helped with the livestock auction, previous award ceremonies, herdsmanship judging and is part of the livestock steering committee.
“My longest friendships are people who I grew up with and showed with at the fair,” Salene said. “I want the fair to be successful so my kids can be here. I think it’s one of the best leadership opportunities for kids to be involved in.”
Thank you, Salene for all your hard work and dedication to the Santa Clara County Fair!
If you are interested in becoming a youth 4-H or FFA award sponsor, please contact the Fair Office at 408-494-3100.