It takes blue-ribbon judges to recognize blue-ribbon fair entries and eight participants from Robertson County are now members of an elite group.

They were among 116 participants across Middle Tennessee to attend the recent Tennessee Registered Judging School for fairs and festivals in Murfreesboro. The workshop was the first of its kind in the state. Robertson County participants include

Sharon Cockrill, Patty Gibbs, Ruth Hart, Sarah Head, Belinda Heard, Jo Hunter, Ann Mason and Flo Moore.

“It takes experience to be able to identify fair entries that are the cream of the crop. The judging school covered how to be a judge, dos and don’ts, judge etiquette, and featured break-out sessions for in-depth learning,” said Shelly Barnes, a University of Tennessee Extension family and consumer sciences agent who helped organize the workshop.

UT Extension agents in family and consumer sciences collaborated to create the Tennessee Registered Judging School to provide an educational foundation for fair and festival judges.

Six in-depth sessions were presented and participants were able to choose three. Sessions included  baked goods:  cookie and candy;  canning, drying, and fermenting; crafts;  fine arts - oil, acrylic, watercolor and pencil drawings; needlework and clothing construction. 

For more information about the Tennessee Registered Judging School, contact Shelly Barnes at or 615-444-9584.

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