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Elkhart County 4-H involvement prepares participants

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- 4H’rs learn new skills all throughout the year for not only their club or craft – but for their next steps in life. Sthele Greybar, 4-H Development Educator says that the program is kid-run and adult supervised.“4H is a club where caring, skilled, and knowledgeable adults are sharing their skills with the community,” Greybar said.

800 adult volunteers supervise over 3600 youth involved in Elkhart county 4-H. “Fair is exciting. But, all of the work that I’m excited for happens in the weeks prior to, months prior to this day.” Throughout the year, 4-H’rs attend club meetings to learn the skills they will show off during fair week.

Grace McCoy has been in Beef Club for 10 years. “We have a few minutes to show our whole entire year worth in one ring with one judge,” said McCoy.

Mini 4-h begins at the kindergarten grade level, and the program sticks with the kids all the way to their senior year. Extension Educator Robert Kelly likes to see the youth grow with the program. “Just seeing them develop throughout the years, putting that hard work and effort. They really start to become responsible adults,” Kelly explained.

Jenna Miller and Grace McCoy have run the full 10 year course when it comes to 4-H. Even though they’re involved in different areas, both girls say 4H has prepared them for college.   

“I’m going to be heading to Purdue University  for a major in agricultural communications, so this definitely helps,” McCoy explained.

Jenna Miller says the time management she learned from the program will help in college. “I’m going to be getting a lot more homework –so just learning how to like get that done in time and turning it in when it’s due is going to be huge from learning that from 4-H.”

Kids involved in 4-h have the opportunity to learn through involvement in over 70 different clubs.

“It gives you communication skills and leadership skills that you’d never be able to learn in anything else except for 4-H,” said McCoy.

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