Growing up 4H

What it means to be a 4H’er

By Ciara Conley -

For most, the fair means nothing more than amusement rides, greasy fried-foods and entertainment. But for 4H participants, there is no better time of the year.

It’s hard to imagine that sweating under the August sun in a barn all day could provide fun, but for 4H participants, that’s the reality. And it’s one that they enjoy.

“I loved 4H. Today I notice the responsibility I learned just from having market animals alone. But 4H touched so many aspects of my adult life from public speaking to business and how to care for animals along with how to interact with others. 4H gave me confidence in myself as a child, a feeling of accomplishment after every project, show or day was finished. I gained many friendships through 4H peers, and advisors. I’m proud to say both of my daughters are still actively involved in 4H,” said former 4H’er Bobbie Donahoe.

Today, 4H is a community of over 500,000 volunteers, 3,500 4‑H professionals and 6 million 4‑H’ers, of both urban and rural backgrounds.

And if you’re curious to know what the four H’s stand for, it ties into the 4H pledge, head, heart, hands and health.

The pledge states,”I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

Founded over 100 years ago, 4H is the nation’s largest youth development organizations. 4H students participate in projects across a wide range of topics like cooking, technology, sewing, agriculture, community service and everything between.

“4H has helped me become who I am today. 4H has taught me how to not only raise an animal, but how to survive life. It has helped me with public speaking, how to be a leader, how to work with a group, and many other things,” explained 4H member Rachael Slone. “4H has also provided me with many opportunities like becoming a Teen Leader, Junior Fair Board member, or meeting people from all over the country. 4H has given me many lifelong friendships and life skills that I will keep with me forever. That is why I love 4H and find it to be the most helpful thing I’ve ever done in life.”

In the late 1800s, researches discovered that adults within farming communities were stiff to accepting new agricultural developments. They found that young adults were open to new thinking and were accepting to experimenting with these new technological advancements and sharing them with their communities.

The idea of practical and “hands-on” learning came from the desire to connect public school education to country life.

“I’ve been in 4H since I was in kindergarten and now I’m going to be a sophomore in high school. 4H has impacted my life so much and I’m beyond grateful for it,” explained 4H’er Raegan Cooper. “I was a clover bud for five years then I moved on to being an actual 4H’er. I show cows and lambs at the Scioto County Jr. Fair. I have also taken a carcass lamb and won reserve champion. 4H is one of the best experiences I’ve ever been involved in. Winning isn’t everything, losing is okay. I’ve learned from my 11 years in 4H that if you put your mind to your goal or have a positive mindset, everything will be great.”

In 1902, youth clubs started cropping up. Clark County, Ohio is considered to be the birth place of 4H after A. B. Graham started a youth program in 1902, called “The Tomato Club” or the “Corn Growing Club.” The idea spread like wild-fire and many more clubs were founded that same year. T.A. Erickson of Douglas County, Minnesota, started local agricultural after-school clubs and fairs that same year. Jessie Field Shambaugh developed the clover pin with an H on each leaf in 1910, and by 1912 they were called 4‑H clubs.

“4H has allowed me to pursue my interests, which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore elsewhere,” explained former 4H member Gabby Grose. “My skills in writing, cooking, and photography enhanced after completing the still projects. My interviewing skills also showed improvement during project judging each year. I’ve gained lifelong friends through 4H camp and my club. I highly recommend joining to anyone who hasn’t already.”

The passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA and nationalized 4‑H. By 1924, 4‑H clubs were formed and the clover emblem was adopted. The Cooperative Extension System is a partnership of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities and more than 3,000 county offices across the nation. Cooperative Extension combines the expertise and resources of federal, state, and local governments and is designed to meet the need for research, knowledge and educational programs.

“We don’t simply do it to sell animals and win ninety-eight cent ribbons. We do it because this organization is our home. It’s all we know. It’s success in the form of boots and wood shavings. It’s our childhood and youth, our summers illuminated with camp songs and flashing county fair lights. And most of all, we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said McKinley Flinders.

For more information about the 4H organization and how to join, you can contact the Scioto County 4H office at 740-354-7879.

Below is a schedule of the 4H events for the week:

Sunday, August 7

  • 4-H Beef, Dairy, & Horse Penning and All Open Livestock- Anytime
  • 4-H Market Hog Arrival: Weighing, & Penning, 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • 4-H Lamb & Goat Arrival: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • 4-H Poultry & Rabbit Check In: 9 a.m. – 12 noon and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • 4-H Building: Booth Set-up, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 4-H Building: Still, Clothing, Nutrition, etc. Project Sign-in, 12 noon – 5 p.m.
  • Farm Products Building: Entries accepted for Art, Farm Products, Fruits & Nuts, Culinary, & Needlework Departments, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Open Horse Show, 1 p.m.
  • Rabbit Building: Market Rabbits Must Be Penned by 5:30 p.m. & Weighed at 6 p.m.
  • Livestock Complex: Weigh 4-H Lambs & Goats, 6 p.m.

Monday, August 8

  • Livestock Complex: All 4-H Beef Projects Must be Penned, 7:30 a.m.
  • Farm Products Building: Entries accepted for Art, Farm Products, Fruits & Nuts, Culinary, & Needlework Departments, 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Livestock Complex: Weigh 4-H Steers, 8 a.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Poultry Building: 4-H Poultry Show, 9 a.m.
  • 4-H Building: Booth Construction & Project Sign-in, 9 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Farm Products Building: Flower Show, 11 a.m.
  • 4-H Building: Booth Judging, 12 noon (Building Closed Until Judging Completed)
  • 4-H Fair Beautification Projects & all other Projects must be registered and in place, Judging of Beautification Projects: 12 noon
  • Livestock Complex: Cloverbud Interviews, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Farm Products Building: Farm Products, Fruits & Nuts Judging, 6 p.m.
  • Grandstand: Introduction of Fair Queen and Court, 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, August 9

  • Farm Products Building: Culinary & Needlework Judging, 8 a.m.
  • Livestock Arena: 4-H Sheep Show, 9 a.m.
  • Rabbit Barn: 4-H Rabbit Show, 9 a.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Livestock Arena: Pet Show open to Scioto County children from ages 2 to 12, 12 noon
  • Livestock Arena: Breeding & Market Goat Show, 3:00 p.m.
  • Grandstand: Formal Opening of Fair, 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 10

  • Livestock Arena: 4-H Beef Show, 9 a.m.
  • Horse Arena: 4-H Western Horse Show, 9 a.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Rabbit Building: Open Rabbit Show, 10 a.m.
  • Livestock Area: 4-H Working Goat & Alpaca Show, 3 p.m.

Thursday, August 11

  • Livestock Arena: 4-H Swine Show, 9 a.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Farm Products Building: Flower Show, 11 a.m.
  • Livestock Arena: 4-H Poultry & Rabbit Auction, 7 p.m.

Friday August 12

  • Livestock Arena: 4-H Dairy Cattle Show, 9 a.m.
  • Horse Arena: 4-H English Horse Show, 9 a.m.
  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Livestock Complex: Cloverbud Interviews, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Livestock Arena: Open Dairy Show, 12 noon
  • Livestock Arena: Showman of Showmen Contest, 6 p.m.

Saturday, August 13

  • Senior Fair Office Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Livestock Arena: Junior Fair Livestock Sale (Sale Order: Lambs, Steers, Goats, & Swine), 10 a.m.
  • Junior Fair Premiums must be picked up at Junior Fair Premium Office by 7 p.m.

Sunday, August 14

  • All exhibits may be removed between 12 noon and 4 p.m. The Senior Fair Office will be open during these hours for exhibitors to pick up Senior Fair premiums if they are not distributed by the Departmental Superintendents. All items in any exhibit not removed during these times will be discarded.
What it means to be a 4H’er

By Ciara Conley

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley – Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara