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4-H is a boost to youths

The weather will start warming soon and, before you know it, the Lawrence County Fair will be here, bringing carnival rides and its showcase, the livestock competition by local 4-H members.

The fair gives children and teens in 4-H the chance to exhibit their animals and have them judged, as well as make a profit in the livestock auction that concludes each year’s events. Exhibitors also learn to present their animals, competing in the showman event, where they tell judges about the animals.

But there is far more to 4-H than just the fair activities.

As Rachel Fraley, the Ohio State University Extension educator and 4-H youth development educator for Lawrence County, told The Tribune this week, the program also helps its 610 members to develop life skills and instills values through their involvement in projects throughout the community.

Fraley said these can take the form of sewing, family and health type projects, STEM activities such as robotics, engineering or electricity or those that focus on things found in nature, like gardening, insects, and Ohio birds.

In addition, 4-H hosts events, such as camps, which include one at canter’s cave in Jackson, a Cloverbud camp and a STEM camp.

This year, Ohio 4-Hers will also mark the 150th birthdate of the founder of the state’s 4-H program.

4-H presents a range of opportunities for area youth, builds social skills and helps to continue the education process outside of a school environment.

We salute this program and Fraley for their hard work and look forward to seeing them at the fair.

And we strongly encourage parents and children to consider getting involved and to give the extension office at Ohio University a call.