Celebrating Montgomery County 4-H Youth

By: Abby Morgan

As we begin to wrap up the 2023 4-H program year, there is much to celebrate. Recently, we finished our annual Montgomery County 4-H Fair, where we celebrated our 593 youth in grades K-12 with the support of our 70+ 4-H volunteers. As community members, you were likely part of the celebration by visiting our fair, taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of such a special event. The Montgomery County 4-H program is filled with amazing youth that are all unique in their talents, skills, and abilities. The fair is a culminating event where youth have the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the last year. Some even get to extend that further by participating in the Indiana State Fair.

What many people do not realize is that the 4-H program is a year-long commitment. Annually, enrollment begins on October 1st and the program year concludes on September 30th. There are club meetings, workshops, trips, and other educational events that happen all throughout the year. All year youth are learning and enhancing life skills through a variety of hands-on learning opportunities. For example, they may enhance their leadership skills through holding a club officer position, learn communication skills through participating in the Public Speaking Contest, or enhance their problem-solving skills through the Computer Coding SPARK club.

If you have a youth (or know of someone that does) that will be in kindergarten – 12th grade as of October 1st of this year, I would encourage you to get them enrolled in 4-H. While you may see livestock animals, fair food, and projects as what 4-H is, it really goes much deeper and can even be life changing. For me it was life changing. I am a proud 1st generation 4-Her, meaning no one in my family had ever done 4-H before. Furthermore, I did not grow up on a farm either. We learned a lot through mistakes, trial and error, and asking a lot of questions. My involvement in the 4-H program led me to my college of choice and then it came full circle when I became a 4-H Educator. It is a privilege to work with so many youth and get a front row seat to watching them become confident leaders who I know will continue “to make the best better” wherever they go in life.

– Abby Morgan is the 4-H Youth Development Educator at the Montgomery County Purdue Extension Office. She can be reached at [email protected] or 765-364-6363.