As a follow-up to Jared Jernagan’s “Last Minute Musings” so well stated on Monday, July 25 for the following day’s edition of the Banner Graphic, I would like to share one of my favorite instances at the Putnam County Fair. It was not a first occurrence, rather a memorable encounter with a young 4th grader in the swine barn.
While making our rounds at the fairgrounds with my co-worker Kim Beadles, a young boy approached me and said, “Do you want to see my pigs?” Without hesitation I replied, “Yes we would love to see your pigs!” We were just probably about ten steps away from the pens that we learned contained the seven or eight pigs to be exhibited by he and his brother. We also quickly learned that his favorite breed was “spots” and we continued to listen. I couldn’t help but to wonder what was the connection of motivation to be so excited to reach out to us to share about his pigs? We continued to listen and then the answer came very clearly. This young Putnam 4-Her stated, “You came and talked to my class at school and so I wanted to show you my pigs.” We responded, “Thanks for showing us your pigs and we hope to see you again in your school.” We just loved the enthusiasm of this young 4-Her.
This made our day and quite frankly the week. Later I pondered this encounter and thought to myself, what if I was too tired or busy and had not taken this time with this young 4-Her. How many times do I miss these types of wonderful exchanges because I don’t take enough time to smell the roses along the way?
At the end of the day, I was very thankful for this situation and considered the impact all of our 4-H volunteers have on our youth to provide teaching and learning opportunities that are never forgotten to build life skills. This exchange also reaffirmed my belief that while many put emphasis on the county fair event, 4-H youth development is a year around program. The school visits to grade two and three to recruit for 4-H, school programs for youth grades 3-12 providing an array of topics and county wide field days all provide opportunities throughout the year for youth to begin to recognize the connections to the county 4-H program.
As we move to wrapping up another program while approaching September and kicking off a new program year in October, Extension staff would like to personally thank all volunteers and the community as a whole for the support provided to the Putnam County 4-H program.
Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
Aug. 9 – Food Preservation/Canning workshop, Johnson Co. Fairgrounds, 11am-4pm, register at https://cvent.me/kagOyz
Aug. 21 – Indiana State Fair Ends
Aug. 22 – 4-H Projects picked up from Indiana State Fair
Sept. 5 – Labor Day Holiday, Extension Office Closed
Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Dining with Diabetes, 2-3:30pm, FREE, register at 765-653-8411 or email@example.com