For the past couple of weeks, we have been featuring a lot of youth in Wayne County who are involved in 4-H.
The reason is because we are now gearing up for the 151st Wayne County Fair, set for Aug. 2-10 at the fairgrounds.
We contacted Jessica Scull, who is in charge of 4-H in the county. Our idea was to do something a little different in leading up the fair.
What we devised was having some of the 4-H members write about their experiences in what it takes to prepare for the Wayne County Fair.
In a couple of cases, we did interviews ourselves and talked to the youth about the fair and their projects.
But in most cases, the members have been writing and submitting their own stories.
It's been a great thing to have and it is quite refreshing.
The reason is simply because these 4-H members give us all hope of a bright future.
Being in 4-H is anything but easy. In fact, it is very difficult.
In today's world, the youth are involved in everything under the sun. Besides the pressure of school work where elementary students are doing algebra, there is also a host of sports and extra curricular activities for these young people.
The 4-H members are involved in a lot of those activities, some are active in their churches and then there is the commitment to 4-H.
That commitment isn't just doing projects for the fair, though that is a big part of what they do.
It is also community service and many other aspects of the program which is geared for the betterment of the population in general.
Some do roadside cleanups, others work with the elderly, almost all participate in parades and there is so much more.
Page 2 of 3 - And then comes the fair and what that takes.
For many of the youth, it is a never ending commitment. As soon as one fair is over, they begin planning for the next event.
For those who raise animals, it's a massive amount of time. It's not just getting up and feeding the animals, they also have to worry about their weight, they keep a log book of what they do and there is also a financial component.
It's a big job.
Yet almost to a person, all of them say they love being in 4-H and would not have it any other way.
That is true commitment from the youth of Wayne County.
Over the past year, this newspaper has devoted a lot of time and ink to covering 4-H in Wayne County and we don't regret one minute because all we have to do is look at the results.
We've gotten to know Jessica very well and she does a great job running the 4-H program. That's not even mentioning she began maternity leave this week but you will almost certainly be seeing her around the fairgrounds.
We can also not forget the big commitment by the parents and other family members of the 4-H youth. Miles upon miles are driven to make sure people are at the right place at the right time. In some cases, it is the farms of the grandparents which are used to raise the animals which are entered into the fair.
It also takes devoted 4-H adult leaders to help out the youth and make sure they are on the right track when it comes to the projects which are such an integral part of the program.
And area business owners as well as private individuals also have to be commended for their general monetary support of these youth. Each year, the annual livestock sale grows bigger and bigger which speaks volumes for the people of this area.
Page 3 of 3 - If you are out at the fairgrounds this year, make sure you take some time and look at the many exhibits from the 4-H youth. Stop and chat with a few of them and you will understand why they will turn into fine leaders in the very near future.
That's the bottom line for 4-H and in Wayne County, it is working well.