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Rachael Fraley: After bustle of the fair, is time for 4-Hers to reflect

As the hustle and bustle of the Lawrence County 4-H Fair season ended in July, August is always a time of reflection.

The Lawrence County Junior Fair has impacted the lives of at least 550 4-H and FFA youth, yearly, for many summers.

Throughout their 4-H project experience, youth learn life-skills, responsibility, commitment, leadership, communication, etc. Then, they showcase their project at the county fair.

Extension staff, youth and volunteers reflect by contributing their thoughts on the 2021 4-H Fair Season:

The Junior Fair board shared they feel “Together.” 4-H offers a feeling of togetherness through displays of sportsmanship and leadership in all events at the county fair. The Junior Fair board provides an opportunity for teens to connect from all over the county sharing a similar passion. Together, they work to get the fair ready. Together they celebrate one another’s accomplishments and together they continue the traditions of 4-H!

Parents and volunteers share they feel as though they are part of a “Family.” The 4-H families come together as one family each year, often cooking together in the campground, celebrating their kids together and having fun together. The camaraderie of this group leaves a lasting impression on all lucky enough to be a part during the fair season.

The OSU Extension, 4-H Youth Development educator and staff feel “thankful” as the office provides leadership and organization to the Junior Fair division of the county fair.

It takes many hands to design and manage the events built to encourage 4-H members and volunteers to excel, learn, grow and have fun. 120 4-H volunteers give their time, energy and expertise to encourage confidence, skill building and personal development.

Many other community members dedicate their time, knowledge and experiences to evaluate the many 4-H projects exhibited during the fair and provide feedback for potential growth.

Community businesses and other supporters contribute financially to the success of our youth and their projects at our 4-H Showcase, 4-H Project Silent Auction, Junior Fair Board Sweet Tooth Auction and the Junior Livestock Sale.

OSU Extension, 4-H Youth Development in Lawrence County is grateful for the many contributions of all involved and the Lawrence County Agricultural Society for their continued partnership to allow our youth the opportunity “to make the best better.”

Rachel Fraley is the OSU Extension Educator for Lawrence County.