Every year, 100s of middle and high schoolers meet at the Scioto County Fair to compete in 4H. However, before they’re old enough to compete, they can be a Cloverbud. These kids have an opportunity to show and tell all of the activities they’ve been involved in over the past year.
Jo Williams is one of the 4H educators for the OSU extension office who works with the Cloverbuds throughout the year.
“Cloverbuds are kids who are at least 5 years old and in Kindergarten, and it goes all the way up through second grade,” Williams said. “They’re the younger 4H competitors who don’t take competitive projects, they do more activities. Here at the fair, we do Cloverbud interviews. I think it’s great, because it gives the Cloverbuds an opportunity to talk about what they’ve done in 4H. People don’t think about it, but it is already giving them speaking skills. We try and teach them life skills, so when they’re sitting in an interview someday, they will hopefully be less nervous because they started when they were five years old.”
Any kid from Scioto County can participate as a Cloverbud. One experienced Cloverbud who had an interview on Monday at the fair is Collin Green from Valley school district.
“My favorite part of being a Cloverbud is getting to see all of the animals,” Greene said. “The interviews make sure you know stuff about 4H, and next year I’ll be old enough and have my own pig.”
The ones helping with the interviews are the older kids involved in 4H.
“The other side of it is really cool because the ones conducting the interviews are our junior fair board members, our royalty, and our teen leaders. Our teenagers work really hard during the fair to make it a great event for everybody, and it’s fun watching the Cloverbuds look up to the teenagers. So not only is this a good experience for our kids, but for our teenagers as well so they can exhibit leadership qualities and have this experience.”
One of the interviewers was Kelsey Shope who is on the Queen’s Court. She competes with poultry and loves talking with the kids.
“I’m interviewing our future 4H kids today,” Shope said. “I basically ask them what they did this year, why they’re excited to become a Scioto County 4H member, why they like 4H, what school they go to. They’re just basic questions that get them talking. I always try and be positive and tell them to have fun with it and remember everything. I only have one more year, so I’m almost finished. It’s cool to look back and remember when I did this.”
Kids can sign up to be a Cloverbud any time before next April to be involved with the next round of activities and fair events.