Hundreds of youth are involved in 4-H programs in Franklin and Ripley counties.
The annual summer fairs in each county allow them to showcase their talents through various projects. However, being a part of this organization also teaches kids life skills and values.
Tammy Sidell, a Busy Bees 4-H Club, Batesville, leader, believes “4-H is a leader-building tool. Kids that join 4-H tend to be the good kids in the community, and the leaders are positive role models to emulate .... (the organization) has very good connections with colleges like Purdue, and there are other clubs to join like Junior Leaders, which lead to exchanges with other states.”
Gail Streit, an Oldenburg Spires 4-H Club leader, notes, “4-H is great as far as meeting kids from your area. It helps we have a wide range of ages involved. The older kids can tell the younger kids about projects they have done .... They help each other, work together and build friendships.”
It is a “very well-rounded organization,” reports Theresa Boyce, a Super Kids 4-H Club, Franklin County, leader. Kids not only learn responsibility, they “learn basic things like cooking.”
From his own experience in 4-H, Clint Nuhring, a Country Kids 4-H Club, Batesville, leader, says, “I got to know kids from the whole county .... I have had business interaction opportunities as an adult with so many people I was in 4-H with .... It’s a greater sense of community beyond your small town.”
Pat Moster, a Morris Shamrocks 4-H Club leader, adds, “Those that go to camp also meet kids from other parts of the state.”
Even though the fair is six months away, the leaders are offering advice to members. Boyce says, “Now the kids are filling out enrollment forms. I try to get them to try a new project because they might like it. We’re getting ready to elect new officers, and I encourage them to take on new leadership roles.”