Mark Bowe, host of the hit Magnolia Network reality show, “Barnwood Builders”; Andy Lyons, natural resources police sergeant in Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers counties; and Kelly Collins, CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia, will judge on the 18e Greenbrier County’s annual 4-H Venison Cooking Contest on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the West Virginia State Fair.

Bowe, host of Magnolia Network’s “Barnwood Builders,” worked his way through West Virginia University as a coal miner, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He’s a craftsman, businessman, historian, and passable break-dancer (if you leave him enough room). Bowe also holds a master’s degree in security management from WVU’s College of Business. He founded his business, Antique Cabins and Barns, in 1995. In 2016, he expanded that business into what is now known as Barnwood Living. He and his longtime team have salvaged over 500 pioneer-era structures. Bowe is passionate about honoring the craft of America’s pioneer ancestors and dedicated to securing their hard work for centuries to come.

Sergeant Lyons, a natural resources constable, grew up in Hinton and enjoys spending time with his wife Lori, son Jase and daughter Reese, as well as hunting and fishing. The outdoors is his inspiration for his career. The Lions and his family attend Bethesda Church in White Sulfur Springs.

Collins is a lifelong resident of Greenbrier County. After showing cattle throughout her childhood at the State Fair of West Virginia while in 4-H, she joined the fair’s staff in 2012 as an agricultural competition manager. In 2015, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and was named CEO at the State Fair of West Virginia. She currently resides in Lewisburg with her husband, Zack, and three children, Lou, Cooper and Laine.

The Venison Cooking Contest, Bingo Game and Auction is the primary fundraiser for 4-H Camps in Greenbrier County. All proceeds from the event are used to reduce camp fees and provide scholarships.

The camping experience for a child is life changing. It teaches responsibility, empathy, kindness and respect while providing a sense of inclusion and a sense of belonging in a safe atmosphere. It allows young people to challenge themselves mentally and physically and to develop relationships with caring adults and other young people. Research from the American Camp Association shows that campers make new friends, meet others from diverse backgrounds, build self-esteem and overcome fears. It is essential that 4-H continue to provide this experience to all youth in the county at an affordable price. To do this, they need the support of their community.

The venison cooking contest, bingo game and auction will take place on Saturday, February 11 at the Cecil Underwood Youth Building at the State Fair of West Virginia. Contest entries are delivered from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. judging of entries begins. Bingo starts at 2:30 p.m. and the auction starts at 4:30 p.m.

There will be free kids activities and snacks throughout the event and concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, including previews of bingo prizes and auction items, search Facebook for “18e Annual venison contest and bingo. If you would like more information about entering the contest, purchasing bingo tickets, or donating to the auction, please call 304-647-7408.

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