The 165th Butler County Fair is scheduled for July 26 – August 1, 2015. A lot of parents and advisors are busy encouraging our 4-H youth as they put their final touches on their 2015 4-H projects over the next couple of weeks. Our dedicated parents and advisors are working hard at their jobs in order to take vacation during the fair. Families have invested a lot in our youth over the years in guiding them with their 4-H projects. Times have changed a lot, but our families have stayed determined to instill values that their kids will be forever grateful.
What are county fairs all about? County fairs reflect the ever-changing agriculture industry, bringing state-of-the-art technology to farmers through lectures, exhibitions and show-ring competitions. Much of the success of early fairs reflects the emphasis of providing something for the entire family. County fairs were, and still are, major celebrations, bringing nuggets of knowledge, friendly competition, entertainment and a sense of community at a once a year gala event like no other community event. County fairs are still used as a venue for farm families to showcase their finest, but are also full of non-traditional exhibits.
So how does the county fair experience benefit our 4-H youth? Families have engaged many hours of encouragement and devotion with their 4-H youth in preparation for the county fair. Youth participating in the county fair learn to try new things, gain independence, receive feedback, mastery and gain positive relationships with caring volunteers. Our 4-H youth are learning life skills that will help them to function well in society. A skill is a learned ability. Helping youth today is vital to the future of our country. Youth development professionals are concerned with helping youth become competent in life skills that will prepare them for transition to adulthood.
The Butler County 4-H program consists of 61 clubs, over 1,200 youth members and over 200 adult volunteer advisors. 4-H is an educational program for boys and girls ages 5 to 19 to gain numerous learning experiences from club meetings, officer duties, 4-H project work, social activities, trips, camps, community service projects, fundraisers and fairs.
The Butler County 4-H program allows youth to learn about numerous projects and careers. There are over 250 4-H projects in which youth can expand their knowledge outside of their school classroom work. Several examples of 4-H projects include: photography, theater arts, writing, keeping fit, CARTEENS, money fundamentals, rocketry and numerous livestock projects. Once they have completed their 4-H careers they have gained a wealth of knowledge, developed relationships for life, engaged in a lot of community service activities, selected a career path for college and earned scholarships to pay for college. Each one of these projects will provide a wealth of opportunities to improve on workforce skills necessary to compete in a global market place. In addition, the research studies have shown the following in comparison with other youth, young people involved in 4-H experience:
- greater educational achievements
- greater motivation and aspirations for the future education
- more civic active
- report better grades and higher levels of academic competence
- greater desire to go to college
The county fair is a time for our youth to promote the 4-H program to the general public and also have some fun. I would like to invite everyone out to the 165th Butler County Fair to see all the 4-H projects, take in some of the special attractions, enjoy some great fair food, learn more about 4-H youth development and how it is truly making a positive difference in our youth.
For more information, please contact Kevin Harris, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development at (513) 785-6650, or Erin Simpson-Sloan, 4-H Program Assistant at (513)785-6667.
For up-to-date program information, check us out on the web at: butler.osu.edu.
News Release provided by Kevin Harris.