The Herald Bulletin

July 21, 2011

Many 4-H’ers donate earnings back to organization

By Sam Brattain
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — As a 10-year 4-H member, Lydia Alexander, of Elwood, wanted to do something special during Thursday’s 4-H auction. Instead of pocketing the money she earned from auctioning her lamb, Alexander donated it to the Madison County 4-H Association.

“It was just a way to give back to the organization,” Alexander said.

Alexander’s lamb went for $200 at auction, but she said when the market price is added the sum could be closer to $300. All of which will go back to the 4-H program so future 4-H’ers like Alexander’s niece and nephew, who are just a couple of years in, can enjoy the opportunities she had.

“I’d like to see the 4-H keep it going, also to keep it nice,” Alexander said.

The biggest thing Alexander said she learned while in 4-H was responsibility. She said she had to get up early every morning to make sure her sheep were groomed and fed.

In addition, Alexander said she’s formed several friendships over her decade in 4-H.

While proceeds from her lamb went back to the association, Alexander still had two more animals to auction off: a pig and a steer. Alexander said she will use those earnings for college. She plans on studying psychology at Manchester College in the fall.

Mitchell Smith also wanted to give back to 4-H. His lamb was this year’s reserve grand champion, and was sold for $1,700. Smith knew the bids would be higher since his lamb was runner-up, but still wanted to give back.

“4-H has been a big part of my life,” Smith said.

Smith also auctioned a steer, from which he kept the earnings.

While Smith was showing his lamb, the auctioneer noted that he has had a busy 4-H fair, showing his lamb and steer, as well as participating in Wednesday’s showmanship competition.

Madison County 4-H Association president Joey Gossett said that while she didn’t know the amount donated by 4-H’ers last year, it all helps keep the organization running.

“It means a great deal. Any time we get a donation it is truly appreciated,” Gossett said.

Gossett said she addresses how much 4-H’ers donate at the auction at association board meetings. She said without donations and, most of all, community support, the organization wouldn’t exist.

Contact Sam Brattain: 640-4883, sam.brattain@heraldbulletin.com