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Don’t take importance of 4-H for granted

As recent youth fairs in our region played out over the past couple weeks, we were once again reminded of the integral role 4-H plays in positively shaping the lives of the area’s young people who participate.

Whether the young person was involved in raising an animal to show and/or sell, entered one of the numerous craft competitions, participated in one of the shooting sports events or demonstrated their considerable equestrian talents, we know that being able to present themselves and their skills to the public at large and to the show judges is a big deal because it gives kids a goal to strive toward.

But as much as we enjoy the youth fairs every year, we want to point out that the work of 4-H doesn’t begin or end in the late summer.

In fact, throughout the year — at least when we aren’t dealing with a once-in-a-century pandemic — 4-H provides young people with numerous opportunities to develop good habits, make new friends and learn the value of hard work.

In short, the youth fairs are really a microcosm of what 4-H is all about — shining the spotlight on what our young people are capable of doing.

We know many of you out there are alums of the 4-H program, even if you didn’t pursue a career in agriculture.

Many have introduced their kids to it as well.

And one doesn’t have to look very far to find numerous examples of people in prominent community positions whose childhood and adolescence includes participation in 4-H.

The 4-H motto is “to make the best better.”

We feel 4-H is living up to that lofty goal.

We urge you to support 4-H and to talk to your youth about exploring involvement in the organization.

Because nothing prepares the adults of tomorrow better than getting a chance to “learn by doing.”

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