Hot for 4-H
Wednesday 13th of July 2011 07:32 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
I will invest a little sweat equity in the 4-H program today. Today is the first day of the 2011 version of the Stafford County Fair. For the last 15 years or so, I've served as 4-H foods superintendent for the fair in Stafford. After that's done, I'll probably volunteer to help with 4-H photography judging this afternoon.
So why do I – or the multitude of other volunteers – continue to show up year after year – some of us after our 4-Hers have left the nest?
For me, the answer is easy. And I suspect it’s the same for most people who volunteer at their county fair – whether it’s in Stafford, Cloud, Harper, Rice, Finney, Haskell or any other fair in Kansas. It’s because we believe in the 4-H program.
I have evidence of the 4-H programs’ power. I grew up as a Pratt County 4-Her. My husband continues to volunteer in Stafford County where he was a 4-Her longer ago than he likes to admit. He's still helping, too. This morning, he's helping one 4-H family haul their animals to the fairgrounds. Tomorrow, he'll help with the hog show.
I think 4-H helped shape us into the people we are today - people who care about and work for their community.
Both our children benefited from 4-H – with everything from project knowledge, leadership skills, goal setting and completion, record keeping and social networking long before there was anything like Facebook or Twitter. Our daughter’s career choice as a dietitian is directly related to her long-time participation in the 4-H foods and nutrition project. Our son’s choice as a college public relations major came – in part – because of tours he took while a delegate at the 4-H Global Conference in Kansas City.
I witnessed my children's growth from the time they were 7-year-old, first-year 4-Hers to the time they were confident, committed 4-H veterans.
This was Jill's very first year for foods judging. She looks a little scared by the whole process.
But by the time she was veteran 4-Her, she was teaching others, and she, too, was serving as a foods superintendent at the county fair.