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North Dakota State Fair’s Food and Needlework superintendent steps down after 20 years

MINOT, N.D. — For 20 years, Fern Laudenschlager has been coordinating the open class food and needlework exhibits at the North Dakota State Fair.

But this is her last year as she stepped down following the recent nine-day run of the fair in Minot, handing the Food and Needlework superintendent position off to Merry Green.

"I have no qualms about leaving them in her hands," Laudenschlager said, noting Green's background as an Extension home economist who has exhibited at the fair.

"It's a big responsibility," Laudenschlager, 80, said of the tasks she's coordinated for so many years. Having a personal interest in quilting, she took on the job because she had been looking for something to do.

"I really enjoyed it every year. The people got to be your friends. You see them year after year," she said. She leaves with fond memories of exhibitors, co-workers and fair staff.

A favorite part of the job has been meeting the exhibitors and seeing their work. Their creativity in needlework, decorating cakes and other entries never ceased to impress her.

"The talent in this state is unreal," she said.