25 July 2011

Lessons Learned From a County Fair

During one of the hottest weeks ever here on Iowa, I was sent out on special assignment by the newspaper I work for (that summer job).

Last week, I traveled out to homes or the county fair, interviewed various 4-H families, and wrote up a nice little feature on each one.  The paper would then include a full-page spread each day of the week, complete with pictures I'd taken during the interview.

The more interviews I did, the more people I talked to...the more I wanted to enroll my children in 4-H.  Why?

1.  Most the interviewees were prompt, on time, and very accommodating.  While I know this isn't probably a 4-H thing, it was still very refreshing.

2.  While not always the most articulate at times, all of the interviewees (ages 7-18) willingly spoke about their projects.  And they were always respectful.

3.  There was a pervading sense of responsibility among these young people.  Many of them were showing livestock, which required waking up early to feed, water, groom, etc.  These *are* teenagers, by the way.

4.  Many of the interviewees had a sense of humility.  They were without the obnoxious attitude of self-entitlement.  They understood the meaning of hard work.

There's more, I'm sure, but what parent wouldn't want to enroll their children in a club that easily and naturally promotes the above ideals and attitudes?


  1. Next year 4H is being cut down to near nothing in my county in Kansas, part of the state and county cut back on educational and vocational programs for kids. This is to drive home to kids the lesson about self reliance and doing something without good will help from tax payers.

  2. HD:

    Any worthwhile activity for young people that promotes a sense of responsibility and hard work is to be encouraged.

  3. I bet some of these 4H programs do more for the kids than anything else you could put them into.