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Letters to the Editor

Game on – take the fair challenge

From Barb Wilmeth

President Union County Friends of 4-H


Each fall, the stands at East Union and Creston high schools fill with football fans, the soccer fields are busy with youth dashing end to end and families troupe from golf course to golf course for cross country meets. Fall turns to winter and the crowds move indoors for basketball and the travel becomes focused on the annual pilgrimage to state wrestling in Des Moines. The award-winning Creston marching band, drumline and drill team put together yet another amazing season of performances. As soon as the snow melts, baseball, softball and track commence. Hard work and hours of practice go into each season and tremendous support from parents, family, the community, local businesses, coaches and school administrators help make it all possible.

At the same time, many of our youth are involved in other activities: FFA, 4-H, FBLA, IJAG, speech and drama, church and others. These activities also require time, commitment and hard work. These activities help our youth develop life long interests, life skills, character and leadership abilities that will help them become contributing members of society.

Are you supporting these youth and their activities to the same degree enjoyed by students involved in sports in our communities? Shouldn’t we all be?

July 19-25 is your chance to support the youth involved in 4-H and FFA.

We’re issuing a fair challenge to every individual in Union County who works with, teaches, mentors, coaches or has a youngster in their life. We challenge you to come see what these youth are doing, making, learning, exhibiting, experiencing and how they’re growing into the next generation of leaders for our communities.

What will you see at the fair?

• Creativity at its best — photography, fine arts, crafts, sculpture, horticulture displays, original clothing designs

• Engineering at work — refurbished tractors, restored engines, welding

• Helpful household DIY projects and displays on everything from babysitting to making grandma’s best cookies — complete with step-by-step instructions, what was learned in the process and what to do differently next time

• The results of carefully choosing an animal, providing it with proper nutrition, housing, exercise and the daily care needed to raise it for exhibit – four to nine months of work, patience and responsibility

• Developing communications skills — 4-H and FFA youth present their projects for evaluation and must answer questions and explain their efforts and learnings

• Winning with humility, losing with grace and learning how to improve for the next time

• Young people developing interests and passions that will evolve into careers and life long hobbies

• Youth working together and helping each other. Older members mentoring younger members, sharing their knowledge, passion and enjoyment of their 4-H and FFA work

• And, you’ll get to see the beautiful, new buildings our fair board and community have worked so hard to build. One day not so long ago, these men and women were the youth members of 4-H and FFA. You’ll see how their experiences so many years ago have been put to good use today!

Take the fair challenge. Come to the Union County Fair and support the hard work and effort our 4-H and FFA youth have been putting into their projects throughout the past year. This is their big game! Come cheer them on!

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