You can usually tell when you see a youth who has participated in 4-H. They're mentally positive, show responsibility and are interested in favorably impacting their community. Another clue may be that they're at the 4-H Fairgrounds this week and next.
The Madison County 4-H Fair officially kicks off Sunday with its 2 p.m. parade. The queen is named at 7:30 p.m. Through July 27, there's entertainment, amusement rides and concessions. Displays of student projects run daily from 1 to 10 p.m.
But many of these hard-working kids have been at the Alexandria fairgrounds since July 11. There's been judging in wearable arts, consumer clothing, dog agility and model rocketry, among others. The more visible events tend to focus on the raising of animals but keep an eye out for photography and child development projects today as well as cake decorating, food preservation and woodworking on Friday.
Started in 1902 in Clark County, Ohio, 4-H was intended to help youth learn about agriculture in their home areas. In 1914, Congress created the Cooperative Extension System, which made 4-H a national service for boys and girls. Purdue University coordinates the system for the state of Indiana.
Now, 4-H and the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service offers hands-on learning locally through its educational offerings. The value of the program is that younger farm residents are learning that by adapting to new programs they can help bring agriculture technologies to their communities.
Whether they've studied home economics, farm safety, management or promoting strong families, these youth are future leaders in our communities. They're pretty easy to recognize. Perhaps it's time you got to know some of them now. Go visit the Madison County 4-H Fair.
In summary The annual Madison County 4-H Fair is a great time to relax and see projects by future community leaders.