By Elisa Raffa | firstname.lastname@example.org
"We want you to succeed in life! That's what 4-H is about! It's not just about livestock and bringing a show steer here, or sheep, or cattle" says Candice Nash, Fair Board Member.
4-H'ers were very busy on the fairgrounds Tuesday, even though the fair doesn't officially start until Wednesday. 500 4-H kids of all ages and backgrounds have been presenting projects. Whether it be stem, horticulture, wood working, baking, or clothing... The kids must bring their projects in and present them to expert judges of that field.
"We don't just have them bring the project, plop it down with some paperwork on it and people walk around and look at it. It's all about that interviewing skill, so that later on they get good jobs and become productive members of our society which is what we want... How do I sit properly? How do I talk properly? How do I answer their questions? Not be scared? Not just tap out? Not answer my cell phone?... All these things that we want to happen in a job interview" says Candice Nash, Fair Board Member.
And these kids are feeling those benefits... Especially as they get ready to go to college.
"I learned a lot of communication skills. When I first joined 4-H I was really shy, now I can talk to almost anyone" says Jordan Utesch, County Council Member.
"It's showmanship. It's based on what you know about how to set up your calf and what you know about your livestock, so knowing all that can help me in an ag career" says Kasey Riemenschneider, County Council Member.
"It takes a lot of money and time to do a tractor restoration, but it's also really fun and I have a lot of pride in it because I did it myself, and I know what I did to it and I know how nice it turned out" says Keaton Koerselman, Future Farmer of America.
These skills learned at home in 4-H are meant to take these kids beyond Plymouth County. Fair members say if they are taking what they learned in 4-H and applying it elsewhere, they did something right.
"A lot of people say well, our Iowa kids are moving out, our Le Mars kids are moving out, our Plymouth County kids are moving out of our area... well some are, and YAY! I would really like some really good Plymouth County 4-H communication skilled kids to go to Washington, D.C. and make that difference" says Candice Nash, Fair Board Member.
After all, 4-H isn't just about the club or community, it's about the country... And world!
The Plymouth County Fair will be especially full of activity this year, as this is their 75th year of operation. They plan to start the fair with fireworks in celebration.
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