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Ashtabula County


Celebrate 4-H’s Effort in Helping Today’s Kids Become Tomorrow’s Leaders

OHIO 4-H WEEK :: MARCH 4-10 4-H Youth Development is making a difference

Wet and Wild

BY DAVID MARRISON Ashtabula County Extension Director

can be connected to practical, hands-on learning experiences while outside of the classroom. In a safe and enriching environment, 4-H Since its humble beginbrings youth and adults tonings in Ohio more than 100 gether to learn everyday years ago, 4-H has grown to skills with hands-on learnbecome the nation’s largest ing. Working on activities youth development organifrom animal and plant scization. The 4-H idea is ences to robotics, 4-H’ers simple: help young people learn problem-solving skills and their families gain the that can make a positive skills they need to be proacimpact upon their commutive forces in their community. 4-H helps youth: meet nities and develop ideas for the diverse challenges of a more innovative economy. today’s world, build self-conThat idea was the catalyst to fidence, learn responsibility, begin the 4-H movement, and make positive decisions. and those values continue Today, 4-H has an expantoday. sive reach, serving youth in As one of the first youth both in our rural and urban development organizations communities of Ashtabula in America, 4-H opened the County. In 2011, we had over door for young people to 4,500 youth participate in learn leadership skills and local 4-H club project groups explore ways to give back. 4and in our school enrichH revolutionized how youth ment programs. None of this would be possible without the dedication of our 4-H Advisors and Key Leaders who help provide oversight and education. I would like to thank these many individuals for helping to make the best better! I would like to congratulate Wynn Wessell of Lenox, who was inducted into the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame in March at The Ohio State University. Wynn is only the third person from Ashtabula County to be inducted into the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame. We are so very proud of his

David Marrison


These tough guys just crawled out of their canoe after some paddling on Reflection Lake during the 2011 Ashtabula County 4-H Camp.

Celebrate everyday heroes through 4-H

County Junior Fair Board has chosen “Honoring the Heroes Among Us” as the theme for the 2012 Ashtabula County Junior JEFFERSON - There are Fair. Who are the heroes heroes among us. Members of our military service units, among us? For the answer to first responders, political fig- that question, just take a ures, sports achievers and look at Ashtabula County 4everyday people who make H today. It’s where young a difference in the life of a people explore, learn and discover in a safe environchild are all heroes. See MARRISON page 15 This year the Ashtabula ment. In 4-H, kids find their


true passions, gain confidence and give back to the community. 4-H is one of the largest youth development programs in America, with more than 6.5 million young people, ages 5-19, and 540,000 youth and adult volunteers currently enrolled. 4-H’s learning opportunities are intentionally designed around four essential elements necessary for positive

youth development by providing youth with: supervised independence, a sense of belonging with a positive group, a spirit of generosity toward others and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges. More than 60 million young people across America have been 4-H members since the 4-H youth developSee HEROES page 15

Celebrate 4-H



What 4-H Means to Me 486 South Main Street Andover, OH 44003 440-293-5416 Phone 440-293-7428 Fax

Fawn Phillips Administrator

(Letters from 4-H Members) I have been in 4-H for 6 years including my cloverbud years. 4-H is where I have met new friends. I have interacted in the community by doing Community Service projects. I have done learning activities, Horse Bowl, Hippology, Light Horse and competed in State Contests in Columbus. I have tried out for State Fair and shown my horse at the State Fair. 4-H is a wonderful learning experience, I am so glad I am a part of it. By Hailey McNutt, Age 12 I like 4-H because ... I love going to 4-H Camp Whitewood and making new friends, craf ts, canoeing and singing songs. I like leading my animals and getting them ready for fair. I like going to Spring Expo. I like going to the Ice Cream Social. I like seeing the baby animals on our farm. That’s why I like 4-H. By Katie Eldred, Age 9

Good Luck to All 4-H Members on Your 2012 Projects! The Ashtabula County Fair is proud to be the showcase event for the projects completed and exhibited by Ashtabula County 4-H youth. Come to the Fair and see the wonderful displays, watch the livestock and horse shows, and experience the excitement of the young people involved in 4-H who have spent months working on their projects. These young people will be the future leaders of our community.

2012 Ashtabula County Fair August 7th - 12th Jefferson, Ohio Thank you to all volunteers, sponsors and individuals and businesses in the community who support 4-H and the Ashtabula County Fair and make it all possible.

The Ashtabula County Fair Board

4-H has been fun and I am proud that I am a 4-H member. I am proud that I won a registered calf through the dairy calf essay contest. Her name is Labrea and she was donated by my grandparents, John and Ruth Polchin. She means a lot to me. I am excited that I will be able to give a heifer calf back to the program for another 4-H member to win. I also like taking dairy beef feeders to the fair. Last year I worked and worked with my feeder and I did really well in showmanship. I also really like Abbbey, one of our 4-H staff. She is super nice and always says “HI!” Those are some reasons I like 4-H and think it is fun. By Raeann Eldred, Age 12 To make the best better. That’s the 4-H motto. Though I am far from being the best, 4-H has helped me become not only a better rider (As I am in Saddle Horse 4-H) but a better person. The experiences I’ve had are unbeatable, the people I’ve met are indescribable, and the things I’ve learned are beyond what any school can teach. Every year I look forward to one thing. That thing is fair. Its a week where I can be with my two favorite things, best friends and horses. I dedicate my summer to my horses, working hard to get where I need to be in time for fair. I also show occasionally in the Summer at other shows. In fact my horse (On the Spot) and I competed at state level this past summer and are looking forward to do it again. Any ways, my club and I have so much fun during that one week of our Summer. We have mud fights (It always has to rain at least once during fair), ride all the time, eat endless amounts of fair food, tell our days’ stories until the wee hours of the morning back at the campers, get up early to take care of our animals, and explore. (By exploring I mean venturing over to the other side of the fairground.. Its kind of a strange place to us...) Each and every year I seem to meet new people and they always tend to become my best friends. Within 4-H I have met some people whom I don’t particularly like, but I’ve also met people I can’t particularly live without. For example, Leah Molenda and I have become pretty good friends this past year. We competed at county level for public speaking and demonstration and won, traveled down to state fair together, and ride together at the same barn. Another person I can’t live without is Helena Zaller and we normally do things together outside of our horses, like going over to each others houses. Everyone in my club, I love to death and love spending time with them. Actually, I’d rather spend my Friday and Saturday nights at 4-H meetings than going out with school friends, which is kind of strange for a typical teenager, but it just proves how much 4-H means to me. Through 4-H I have learned many new skills. I have not only taken projects through Saddle Horse, but Dog, Photography, and Scrap booking. They have all taught me how to budget time, work hard, and explore the rest of what the world has to offer. 4-H has taught me pretty awesome people skills as well. Af ter all you have to learn to deal with different types of people, though most aren’t needed to be dealt with. 4-H is filled to the brim with amazing people. 4-H has also made me become an active person in extra-curricular activities, such as Horsebowl, Hippology, Public Speaking and Demonstration Contest, and State Fair. I have also not only become more active in 4-H activities, but school as well, like sports and honors classes. Finally I want to talk about a program directly related to 4-H, but allows kids not even in the program to join. That’s Camp Whitewood, also known as the second best week of the year (Next to fair, of

course). Through this I have made even more friends and learned an endless amount of new skills. The activities there are so fun, you hardly know you’re learning anything, but you are! The activities include: Swimming, archery, riflery, boating, crafts, and nature. I can’t pick a favorite... This past year was my last year as a camper, and I am currently tossing around the idea of sending in my ‘Camp Counselor’ application. All in all, 4-H has made be become the person I am today. The people I’ve met are truly amazing, af ter all they are the ones who shape the 4-H program, which is also quite amazing. It has allowed me to try new things and learn more about myself. To sum just about everything up, I love it and my life wouldn’t be the same without it. Thank you for creating a program that has done so much for me as well as others, and helping me create memories that will not ever soon be forgotten. By Devon Hannan, Age 13 4-H has meant a lot to me. I have learned responsibility, I get to show my Holstein cows and have made a lot of cool friends. I think the people that have influenced me the most are Rosmarie Eldred and Kelly and Bart Kanicki - my advisors. Kelly always informs us of what is going on in 4-H and makes the meetings fun. Bart helps us around fair tremendously and teaches us a lot about taking care of our animals. And then there is Ros - she is one of the sweetest people. She has helped me a lot through the years with my cows and dairy beef feeders. Every year she says she is going to buy me a milkshake at fair - I think this year I will treat her! Anyways - 4-H is cool and every parent should check it out for their children! By Nicole Mann, Age 13 J- jumping all around I-it is fun M-makes me smile M-making a rocket Y-”Y” not join? By Jimmy Johnston, Cloverbud

M-making craf ts O-outstanding club R-Rabbits G-great friends A-animals N-Nice People By Morgan Sharpe, Age 7

L-learn lots of things I- I love 4-H L- like to make craf ts L-like to make friends Y- year-round fun! By Lilly Luce, Cloverbud

J- Join in lots of fun! A- animals especially chickens S- super friends O- our club is the best N- new things to learn By Jason Johnson, Cloverbud

J- Joining games O- outside learning L- Learning about animals E-enjoying snacks N-new learning E- enjoying people By Jolene Sharpe, Cloverbud I like 4-H because I like making craf ts and having fun at meetings. By Annie Mae Johnston, Honorary Cloverbud I like 4-H because I like playing with my friends in the club. By Jack Johnston, Honorary Cloverbud K- knowing the pledge A- attending 4-h meetings I- Ice cream social L- Learning new things Y- Year round fun N-nice people By Kailyn Slusher, Age 10

T-this 4-H is fun, R-really fun! A- always learning V- visit the nursing home I- I do it with my family and friends S- so great doing projects! By Travis Luce, Cloverbud What 4-H means to me is a lot of fun and excitement. We play games and do craf ts at our meetings. But what 4-H really means to me is that I get to see my friends and have a good time. A- a lot of fun D- doing things A-awesome M- Makes me smile By Adam Romanko, Age 9 K- knowing the pledge A- a lot of fun T- taking care of my mini donkey I- I love 4-H E- entertaining By Katie Johnson, Age 12


Celebrate 4-H


Community bids high for 4-H Foundation BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON - Every year, the community comes out to support the 4-H Foundation during its annual Pig Roast and Auction, always held the third Saturday in September at the Expo Building on the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds. The Pig Roast and Auction is one of the two fundraisers for the Ashtabula County 4-H Foundation. Started in 1997, the Ashtabula County 4-H Foundation supports and enhances new and existing 4-H programs in the county; serves the youth of Ashtabula County by providing financial assistance for college, camps and conferences; and promotes the ideals of youth. “What we try to do is help 4-H in any way we can,” 4-H Foundation President Joe Bodnar said. To accomplish these goals, the 4-H Foundation relies on donations. Two ways the organization raises these funds are through the Pig Roast and Live Auction and a golf outing in June at Hickory Grove Golf Course in Jefferson, Bodnar said. The money raised from the events benefit the 4-H Foundation, Bodnar said. The 4-H Foundation then invests this money, using the

interest to fund its projects. The 4-H Foundation uses these funds in a variety of ways. Although the foundation cannot use the money for capitol improvements, it can use it to purchase equipment for 4-H organizations that submit grant requests, Bodnar said. Just recently, the 4-H Foundation approved a $900 request from the Saddle Horse Committee to purchase testing equipment for its hippology program. In the past, the 4-H Foundation also has donated to the OSU Extension Office when its funding was cut. The funds also help support: 4-H learning aids, slide sets, videotapes, demonstration models and audio-visual equipment; 4-H school-enrichment programs; additional urban 4-H program development; 4-H awareness and expansion funding for 4-H promotion and recruitment of new members; and more. Every year, the 4-H Foundation also gives funds to the Extension Office to help send underprivileged children to Camp Whitewood, Bodnar said. The 4-H Foundation also can help fund field trips and other activities. The 4-H Foundation also typically awards five $1,000 scholarships to Ashtabula County 4-H members every year for college.

Celebrate 4-H

Scholarship winners in 2011 include: —Courtney Fox, the daughter of Mary Jane Cole and Mike Fox of Conneaut. —Sarah Ritchie, the daughter of Wayne and Joyce Ritchie of Orwell. —Gabriella “Gidget” Marrison, the daughter of David and Jaime Marrison of Jefferson. —Sarah Moseley, the daughter of Paul and Nancy Moseley of Geneva. —Greg Howard, the son of Gerald and Kimberly Howard of Austinburg Township. To help hold the fundraisers, the 4-H Foundation also relies on donations from the community. Ever year, residents and businesses donate items to be auctioned off or make a monetary donation.

Thorne’s BiLo made the first-ever donation to the 4H Foundation when the group first organized, followed by a donation from the Cattlemen’s Association, Bodnar said. Both continue to be supporters of the foundation today. The 4-H Foundation also relies on the support of volunteers. Twelve people currently sit on the 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees. The foundation tries to keep at least one or two junior members on the board, Bodnar said. The 4-H Foundation meets every other month. For more information on the 4-H Foundation, visit topics/4-h-youth-development/ashtabula-county-4-hfoundation or call OSU Extension at (440) 576-9008.

The 4-H Pledge

Cloverbud Camp

I pledge My Head to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty, My Hands to larger service and My Health to better living, for My Club, My Community, My Country and My World.

The 4-H Motto: “To Make the Best Better”

A Gazette Newspapers Publication Publisher emeritus ........................ John Lampson President/Publisher ....................... William Creed Editorial .......................................Stefanie Wessell Page Design ..................................... Meg Adams

Editorial Office 46 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, Ohio 44047 440-576-9125 • Fax: 576-2778 Toll-Free: 1-800-860-2775 E-mail:


2010 Ashtabula County Fair Queen Ashley Meaney walked the crowd as the 4-H Foundation’s pig roast and auction in September, collecting cash from the audience, with people putting in anything from a $1 bill to a $100 bill and anything in between.

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In 2011, 41 kids attended Ashtabula County Cloverbud Camp July 13, 14 and 15 at the County Fairgrounds. Open to all youth ages five to eight, Cloverbud Camp is designed for young minds to explore friendship, fun and educational activities. Led by volunteers Cheryl Riggleman and Barb Dwyer with the support of teen county counselors and OSU Extension staff, Cloverbud Camp includes songs stories, games, creative arts, nature study and much more. Kids have a great time in a comfortable environment allowing them to blossom and try new activities in a social setting. A small camper fee is charged to cover the cost of snacks, activity supplies and insurance. The 2012 Cloverbud Camp will be held July 10, 11 and 12 from 9 a.m - noon and registrations will soon be available online.

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Celebrate 4-H



4-H Club member learns value of recycling BY SADIE PORTMAN Gazette Newspapers

this recycling project, I went to a recycling center and I helped them out there,” 4-H What started out as a member Aubrey Jones said. A total of $3,500 was family project has turned into a 4-H self-determined given to Aubrey’s 4-H club project that was recognized during her time at the in the top six out of 60 Ashtabula Recycling Center, including $500 to start an inprojects in the state. “Last year when I started club scholarship to be given

4-H Creed I believe in 4-H Club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen. I believe in the training of my HEAD for the power it will give me to think, plan and to reason. I believe in the training of my HEART for the nobleness it will give me to be kind, sympathetic and true. I believe in the training of my HANDS for the ability it will give me to be helpful, skillful, and useful. I believe in the trainingof my HEALTH for the strength it will give me to enjoy life, to resist disease, and to work efficiently. I believe in my country, my state, and my community and in my responsibility for their development. In all these things I believe, and am willing to dedicate my efforts to their fulfillment.

to those who need help with dues or books and $1,000 for the general fund. “We did a fundraiser during Earth Week and he donated his profits that he made during Earth Week back to 4-H,” Aubrey said. Aubrey has been in 4-H for four years and has shown rabbits, chickens and hogs. “I love going to the fair and hanging out with my friends during 4-H meetings and meeting new friends,” Aubrey said. Aubrey’s recycling project was something she did on her own without the guidance of a book like many of her previous 4-H projects. “Her dad (Doug) knows the owner of Ashtabula Recycling and they hooked up and the project just kind of went from there,” Aubrey’s mother Sharon said. Sharon said their family has always recycled cans, but Aubrey challenged them to go a step further even be-

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fore going to the recycling center for research. “At home she has us doing our paper and plastic bottles,” Sharon said. “We were separating everything from paper to plastic to compost.” Sharon said the project started as a week-long experiment to see how much the family could save on trash. “It started out as, ‘let’s see how much we can raise in a week at home.’ We went down from a big large toter and an extra garbage can down to a half a toter a week,” Sharon said. “It’s a big difference.” Sharon said the whole idea was Aubrey’s and the family thought it would be a fun challenge. “It surprised me how many cans we go through,” Aubrey said. Now Aubrey is challenging the Ashtabula Area City Schools to put recycling con-

tainers in their buildings. “She’s continuing on with hopefully the schools this year for Earth Week, so we’re hoping to get the okay from the school,” Sharon said. Aubrey and Sharon have spoken with Assistant Superintendent Patrick Colucci, who told Sharon he was on board with the project. Now they have to talk with the principals of the elementary campus for their final approval. If all is approved, the schools will have recycling containers by this year ’s Earth Week, held April 1622. The recycling will also be a way for the school to raise money. “We’re going to try and do a contest. The school that raises the most money can have a pizza party or an ice cream party or something like that,” Aubrey said. “The money will be donated to the

PTOs.” Aubrey’s project has reached beyond the schools, as she was nominated in the nationwide Kohl’s Cares contest, which awards the winning kids ages 6 to 18 with scholarships for making a difference in their community. Aubrey will present her project during this year’s Ashtabula’s County Fair. and she is hoping to place high enough again to make it to state. Next year Aubrey wants to continue her green intuitive and do a tree planting project. “My neighbors are planting trees, and I want to see if I can help out them,” Aubrey said. Sharon said she very proud of her daughter and sees great things in Aubrey’s future. “She’s just thriving and her knowledge is amazing,” Sharon said.

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Celebrate 4-H


Camp Whitewood is for everyone wood, located in Windsor Township, is the place to be on June 24-30 as Ashtabula County 4-H once again hosts its weeklong session. Campers will live in a WINDSOR TOWNSHIP - cabin chaperoned by trained teen Summer camp brings back great counselors, sleep in a bunk bed memories for many. Summer and eat family-style meals in the time means Camp Whitewood modern dining hall. Campers for many others. Camp White- need not be 4-H members to at-

tend. The camp is usually sold out, as word has definitely gotten around about the fun times and lasting friendships to be made at camp. In fact, the long history of Camp Whitewood has produced some fifty-plus-year marriages. Camp in 2012 will cost $250, which includes lodging and all meals and activities. Camperships are available to those who express financial need. Camp activities feature boating, swimming, crafts, riflery, archery and environmental education. The carefully planned schedule includes polar disc throw, polar volleyball, polar swimming and polar soccer for those interested in starting their day at 6:30 a.m. Other activities include: talent show, counselor hunt, sock hop and campfire with skits. Campers this year will explore all things involving space as they enjoy the themed week. Camp counselors are carePHOTOS BY EVAN GRUSKIEWICZ fully selected and trained by OSU A camper practices her shooting skills while being closely Extension, starting in February supervised by a certified shooting sports trainer. and working up until the last ex-




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This group of happy campers at 4-H Camp Whitewood is packed up and ready to head out for an overnight “outpost” adventure in the beautiful and rugged terrain of Phelps Creek. citing day of camp. Thirty-one counselors and four deans plan the entire week, including games, skits and activities. Counselors must be age 15 by the first day of camp. Although the camp counselors volunteer hundreds of hours, they still must pay for their room and board at camp. To offset those costs, the Ashtabula County 4-H Camp Counselors will hold a rigatoni dinner on May 25. The dinner will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Expo Center on the Ashtabula

An Ohio historical plaque marks the entrance to the earthen mounds that the Cleveland Museum of Natural History believes to have belonged to residents of the late Woodland Period (A. D. 600 - 900). Today the hallowed ground serves as the favorite campfire circle where evening vespers and skits are enjoyed. Whitewood is an accredited site of the American Camping Association. For more information, visit the Camp Whitewood web page at

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County Fairgrounds in Jefferson. According to Camp Director Brandon Mitchell, the 226-acre Camp Whitewood is owned by Northeast Ohio 4-H Camps, Inc. and is completely self-sufficient. The first camp was opened on July 14, 1940. The camp was named Whitewood both after it’s benefactor Tom White and because of the heavy population of tulip poplars, commonly called “whitewood.” Phelps Creek flows through gorges as wide as 1,200 feet on its way past the old Indian fort.

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Celebrate 4-H


What 4-H Means to Me (Letters from 4-H Members) What I like most about 4-H is watching the horses at the fair. I like to see everyone riding their horses in the ring. I want to take a horse in 4-H someday. By Hannah Johnson, Cloverbud S- sharing with the community H- helping others A- a lot of fun R- ringing with laughter O- open to everyone N- new experiences By Sharon Millard, Age 9 I like seeing the animals at the fair. By Jodi Wilson, Honorary Cloverbud I like doing craf ts at meetings and seeing animals at the fair. By Violet Luce, Honorary Cloverbud 4-H means to me having the most fun times EVER! At fair and in the show ring. And having fun with friends and my horses. I love

4-H because then I can meet people my age that share the same dreams and goals too. By Katrina Kingdom, Age 9 4-H means a time to spend with animals you like. Or to try with animals you don’t like and to try to know them. You can make new friends in 4-H. I met my best friend in my first year of 4-H. And because of 4-H, I bought my favorite horse. 4-H is a great opportunity to try new things. I love spending time at fair! The activities are really fun to me and I love camping. So 4-H is perfect for me! By Abby Chernesky, Age 9 4-H means to me many different things! As a 4-H member, I have learned many skills including leadership, friendship, and compatibility. I have learned many different things about the horse and horse equipment. I have made many friends and met a lot of great people! I am thankful for 4-H for these things! By Carolyn Morrow, Age 16

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To me, 4-H is a wonderful opportunity to work with other people my age who share common goals, ambitions, and dreams. It teaches responsibility, respect, loyalty, and friendship. Trust is gained and through hard work and determination, one is able to work above and beyond - and be honored. Through invaluable community service, a 4-H member can realize that it’s good and honorable to help others. I enjoy 4-H and it teaches me how to be a better person while having fun and enjoying being with my friends. This is what 4-H means to me. By Matthew Chernesky, Age 17 To me, 4-H is a great way to meet new people and make friends. 4-H also helps me learn about care of horses. I also get to spend time with my current friends and my horses. 4-H also means that I get to do things I wouldn’t normally do like public speaking and showing. By Anna Tancredi, Age 15

It gives me time to spend with my horses. It gives me new goals to reach that I normally wouldn’t be inspired to do. I have made many friends and I hope to make many more! It also gives me a lot of different projects to do. Like I never would have did a writing project or cake decorating if it wasn’t for 4-H. It has given me something to do! It is a great program and I don’t know what I would do without it! By Natasha Sobie, Age 12 What 4-H really means to me is learning more about your animals, sewing, cooking, and many others. But what made me join was to learn more about my cat and learning how to sew. My leaders have helped me reach this goal. I got my friend to join because I told her that it was a blast and one of the many great advantages was that you would be able to get in the fair for free.4-H could help me learn about my future job and help get a college degree. I love going to 4-H. By Larissa Kidd, Age 8


I am 13 years old and a member of Pierpont Mix-N-match PACS. This is my second year of 4-H. I am taking pack goat project, a market hog and scrapbooking. I enjoy 4-H because it easy to meet new people and have fun. I also like learning the new things that I learn through 4-H, while having fun. My favorite part of 4-H is the fair and showing my animals at the fair. I really enjoy 4-H and recommend it to anyone. By Alexis Stein, Age 13 I like 4-H because we have the 4-H Carnival. I also like taking projects to the fair and learning about projects I am taking. The activities we do are also one of the things I like. It is very fun meeting new members in my club, Saybrook Raiders. By Faith Blakenship, Age 8

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I am eight years old. This is my first year in 4H. I am a member of the Pierpont Mix N Match club. I will be showing a goat at the county fair. I am also doing a cooking project and a scrap booking project. I hope to learn lots of new things in 4H this year. I also

When I think of 4-H, I think of not just the four H’s, but you could learn anything you want to. What made me join was that you could learn more about you and your animal and other projects. Also you could be with people that want to do the same, in the same club. By Samantha Kidd, Age 11

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I am fifteen years old. I am in 10th grade at Saints John and Paul High School. Last year I showed a goat at the fair and raised two steers. This year I am raising goats, chickens, and hogs. I am doing a hog project and a goat project and will show both at the fair this summer. I enjoy being a 4H member and taking care of my animals. I am also an avid sports fan and I play baseball, football, and basketball. By Christopher Stein, Age 15

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I joined 4-H to learn new things. I have learned responsibility, teamwork, time management and leadership. I have also learned how important it is to help with community service. I have made a lot of new friends through 4-H. I love all the activities that I do with 4-H such as 4-H camp, Ice Cream Social, 4-H Carnival and the Ashtabula County Junior Fair! 4-H is a great experience. By Cody Kanicki, Age 13

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Jefferson Grange hosts Spaghetti Dinner JEFFERSON - In what has become a tradition, every year the Jefferson Grange cooks a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for the Ashtabula County 4-H program. Hundreds of guests attended the dinner this past year, when it was held in late January at the Ashtabula

County Fairgrounds Expo Building. The Jefferson Grange provided the dinner and dessert. Members cook for the dinner as a way to support the 4-H’ers. All proceeds from the dinner benefit Ashtabula County 4-H programs. In other fundraiser, the

Ashtabula County 4-H Committee and OSU Extension Office hosted an Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, March 6, at the Expo Building. More than 300 people attended the event this year, which was held to kick off Ashtabula County 4-H Week. Door prizes were given to those that could answer tricky 4-H trivia, families made their own delicious ice cream sundaes, Commissioner Peggy Carlo congratulated the program on another successful year and 4-H youth and volunteers shared why 4-H is important to them. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Junior Fair Board members Cody Fetters, Emily O’Dell, Mary Wessell, Natalie Thomas and Mason Taylor help at the annual Spaghetti Dinner.



Ashtabula County Fair to be held Aug. 7-12 The time is here! The time to plan and prepare for the best time of the year...the Ashtabula County Fair! The Ashtabula County Fair, located on the fairgrounds in Jefferson, represents the culmination of all the hard work of many youth and volunteers. It is a time for youth to showcase their projects and all they have learned with their family and the public and have a fun-filled week. More than 25,000 attend the fair annually for the food, games, rides, entertainment and to get up close and personal with a few animals, while 4-H youth see it as a time to learn and shine. Youth fair participants learn good sportsmanship and showmanship skills

and can be seen cleaning and decorating and feeding and grooming animals for show. The Junior Fair Board, made up of youth from 4-H, FFA, Grange, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, organize many programs and activi-

ties taking place at fair. This board, made up of youth ages 15-19, meets year-round to plan kids games, the Talent Show, Super Showman and other Junior Fair activities while building leadership and life-skills. The Junior Fair Board is proud to announce this year’s Junior Fair theme to be “Honoring Heroes Among Us.” Help us in honoring our hometown heroes from all walks of life during the week of Aug. 7-12 at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds in Jefferson. Hope to see you all there as we honor heroes among us. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Edison Cigany is pictured with his chicken at the 2011 Ashtabula County Fair.

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4-H Membership and Enrollment Guidelines What is 4-H? 4-H is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to individuals age 5 and in kindergarten to age 19. Youth are involved in hands-on, experiential learning that allows learning by doing. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences, which stimulate life-long learning of values and skills.

How Do I Join 4-H? The Steps to take when joining 4-H: 1. Contact your Ashtabula County Extension Office to get a new member packet and visit us online at The Phone Number for Ashtabula County is (440) 576-9008. 2. What project area is the youth interested in participating in? (Example: rabbit, sewing, or horses) Please review the Family Guide for a listing of projects 4-H Family Guide & Project Listing 3. Once you have received your informational packet please contact a club from our club directory that fits the youth’s project needs. Please make sure to also check out the new Parents’ Guide to 4-H. 4. Attend the meetings of the club and enjoy the 4-H experience!

Are there enrollment deadlines? 4-H clubs may organize any time of the year. However, most counties have enrollment deadlines by which time a member must be enrolled and enrollment forms turned into the County Extension Office in order for members to participate in certain programs (camps, county fairs, awards programs, speaking contests, etc.). April 15 is the current membership deadline for Ashtabula County to participate in all the fair activities.

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Funds needed for fairgrounds small animal barn BY WENDY GRUSKIEWICZ Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON - There has been an explosion of sorts the last several years at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds, a population explosion of small animals exhibited at the annual Ashtabula County Fair. Due to the popularity of the poultry and rabbit 4-H and FFA projects the current housing has proven to be woefully inadequate. The chickens are crammed into cramped quarters and the turkeys are trussed into leaky tents. The bunnies have been multiplying by leaps and bounds. It’s enough to ruffle everyone’s feathers. The Ashtabula County 4-H Small Animal Committee and Ashtabula County Agricultural Society are seeking funds to build a new exhibition barn with educational centers at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds. Currently, a small committee of volunteers and professionals are working to construct a new facility 168 feet in length and 32 feet wide with two educational learning centers and three species rooms before the August 2012 County Fair. The proposed facility plans have been drafted and will house junior fair chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and rabbits of all description. Groundbreaking for the new barn is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2012 and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the start of the upcoming August 2012 fair. Ide-

ally, all funds will be in place by May 1 so construction can begin before June 1 and conclude no later than Aug. 1, 2012. The poultry committee first began raising funds for the new barn back in 2005 by selling 4-H themed items such as bracelets, jewelry and lanyards. The “Feed A Family Build A Barn” program initiated by 4-H member Savannah Lewis followed this effort. With this program, 4-H members donated extra poultry projects to area food banks, while community members pledged financial support for a new building. The income started a seed fund for the barn, but is far short of the $75,000 needed for the ambitious project. Stepping in to lead the charge of fund raising operations are Becky Salinger and Debbie Platt. This dynamic duo has been approaching area business and community leaders in search of bronze, silver, gold and platinum donors. Already stepping up to the challenge are Andover Bank, Ashtabula Farm Credit Services, Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, Lakeview Credit and Western Reserve Farm Co-Op. “It’s not just about the chickens having a place to stay. It’s about giving back to the community,” Salinger said. Salinger said 4-H members learn responsibility and civic duties from their projects. She added that 4-H kids tend to stay in the area and become excellent employees. “When you want an outstanding employee, you want to hire a 4-H member,” Salinger said. “The current

housing available to 4-H and FFA poultry and rabbit projects is inadequate to safely and humanely house the growing numbers of 4-H projects.” “There has been an explosion in the interest in backyard poultry as pets, and food sources, not just locally, but nationally as well. This interest has been seen in our area not only as an increased number of children wanting to raise poultry projects, but an interest in raising a variety of new projects like heritage breeds, pasture raised breeds, organic and free range poultry,” said Salinger. Poultry make excellent projects for many youth because they are inexpensive to raise and can be raised by rural, suburban and even youth living in the city. The hope of the committee is that by having better, safer housing, even more youth can know the sense of accomplishment that comes from raising a 4H animal. In 2001, four turkeys were exhibited at the fair. In just 10 short years the number has grown to 40, prompting housing in tents, which invariably flood each year. The rabbit project has also


4-H alumni Jenny Beals holds a turkey upside down so the 2011 Ashtabula County Fair poultry judge can evaluate the breast meat. 4-H member Stacie Ritchie looks on. seen tremendous growth; they are quickly outgrowing their space as well. They are popular projects because they are inexpensive to raise, can be housed indoors, and can be easily handled by younger 4H members. The diversity of rabbit projects attracts many youth every year. “We want to showcase farming and the youth organizations of 4-H and FFA,” said Salinger. “We want people attending the fair to learn where their food comes from.”

Upon completion of the building construction, the Ashtabula County Agricultural Society will sustain maintenance of the building. Measurable outcomes include an increase in the number of youth with rabbit and poultry projects at the county fair, a decrease in the amount of animal fatalities during fair due to illness/heat exhaustion/ broken limbs/etc., and an increase in the number of small animal clinics and workshops held at the fairgrounds

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throughout the year. Success of this project will be easily identifiable though evaluation and review of these outcomes. Started in 1822, the Ashtabula County Agricultural Society is run by a Board of 18 directors, whom meet monthly, with the sole objective to promote the encouragement of agriculture, horticulture, and the rearing of better livestock, improvement of domestic science and art, promote general community betterment, together with all other commercial and educational interests of Ashtabula County. This includes working closely with 4-H, FFA, Scouting, Grange and other youth development organizations. There is a long history of 4-H in Ashtabula County. It is an organization that has enhanced and improved the lives of thousands of young people through the years. As the county has changed, 4-H has responded to those changes. Those wishing to donate to the barn-building fund are urged to contact the Extension Office at 576-9008. Donations are tax deductible. A donation form is also included on page 8 of this special section.

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What 4-H Means to Me (Letters from 4-H Members) 4-H is people coming together to help their community. If not for 4-H’ers some people and animals would be helpless. We learn about animals large and small. I personally work with a cow and take her to fair. But I’ve got to say everybody in my club helps me out. It goes to show what teamwork can do. I have done quite a few things with my group since I have joined 4-H. I have donated treats and toys which my group and I made by hand and donated to a local animal shelter. We have also gone caroling to the local shut-ins and brought them cookies. All I can think about is the smile it puts on their face and it makes me feel all of my work was worth making these people happy. We pick up and put down American flags in two cemeteries just knowing that the veterans should receive some appreciation for f ighting for our freedom. To me it is just small things I can do but it makes a big difference. 4-H to me is about helping people everywhere and learning about animals and of course the responsibility that comes with them. 4-H is very fun and if you haven’t joined I hope you consider it. By Erin Brennan, Age 9 Joining 4-H has allowed me to learn a great deal about my show animals. Not only did I have to learn about their daily care, but also why they receive certain feeds and why they are trained in certain ways. I even learned how to give vaccinations, as well as recognize and treat certain diseases. Leadership roles also came with joining 4-H. Within my club I have been able to help younger members with their projects. As a member of Junior Fair Board I have been able to help plan out county fair and help with some livestock shows. I have also been a counselor for Cloverbud Day Camp for kids ages 5-8 the past three years. Another thing I have learned while in 4-H is responsibility. I am required to care for all my animals daily and train those going to show to insure a pleasant show experience. Being elected as Secretary/ Treasurer for the Small Animal Committee means I must record the minutes of each meeting and turn them in to the County Extension Office, as well as keep track of the Committee’s funds. 4-H has taught me about so many things. I believe 4-H has significantly impacted my life; making me who I am today and who I will be in the future. By Ellen Darby, Age 17

I like working with animals, going to fair, eating milkshakes and playing with goats. Watching shows is a good time too. The rides (at fair) are very cool also. By Colleen Darby, Age 10 I like being a Cloverbud and going to Cloverbud Camp. When I am bigger I plan to take cows, goats and maybe pigs to fair. I like that the fair is so much fun and I get to see my friends. By Bridget Darby, Cloverbud I like looking at the animals at fair. I am excited to take a duck this year. I also like riding the rides at fair, but I love the milkshakes. By Katarina Darby, Age 8 4-H has allowed me to explore many new activities: raising rabbits, woodworking, archery and small engines. By A.J. Darby, Age 12 What I really like about 4-H is that there is something for everyone. You can take any kind of project from cooking and sewing to animals and engineering. Plus you don’t have to take just one, you can take as many projects as you want! I’ve been in 4-H for four years and every year I’ve taken goats as well as something new. For example, I’m taking cake decorating this year. Also whenever you have a question or need help with something there is always someone who can help. 4-H is awesome! Thank you to all the advisors, grown-ups, and kids who are always willing to lend a hand. You’re the best! By Michaela Darby, Age 16


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Ashtabula County introduces new Market Gardening Project BY STAFF OSU Extension JEFFERSON - The Ashtabula County 4-H program is excited to announce a new project opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H and FFA in the county. Youth involved in either of these two development programs now have the opportunity to sell their produce at fair upon completion of the Market Gardening Project. Youth involved must complete the required 4-H project book, complete at least 50 percent of their gardening unassisted by an adult, attend monthly clinics presented by county Master Gardeners, be tested on Super Satur-

day at skill-a-thon and have an educational poster and market display for judging at the August County Fair. Judging of Farmer’s Market displays will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, in the FFA Building on the County Fairgrounds. Ribbons will be awarded to those placing in the top five, as well as for Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Gardener and for Best and Reserve Best of Show produce. Following the judging from 1-4 p.m., visitors and patrons will be allowed to purchase produce directly from county youth. All proceeds will be collected and returned to the youth member.

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OSU Extension offers a variety of 4-H programs, events for youth BY DORIS COOK Gazette Newspapers

visors to manage some 72 4-H clubs in Ashtabula County today. Last year, 826 youth in the county were enrolled in 4-H club programs or had individual projects. Advisors are volunteers in the communities who keep the youth on track, helping them learn skills and leadership as well as completing projects taken on. “Our enrollment deadline to join a club for this year is April 15 as that is when our year begins,” said Hoyt. “Youth in Ashtabula County have a variety of programs and projects they can sign up to take in these clubs. Many will do dual projects in one or more clubs.” “There are all kinds of projects beside raising an animal that kids can get involved in for a project. There is everything from shooting sports, to cooking, sewing, woodworking, horses, livestock raising, photography, creative arts, plus more. We also have a Reality Day program for eighth graders in the local area schools. I go in to the schools

JEFFERSON - Ashtabula County OSU Extension Service 4-H programming stretches back to the early 1920s, with the first 4-H extension agent hired to promote youth programs for the agriculture communities here. According to the early history records kept at the OSU Extension local office, 4-H Camp Whitewood was established about 1939 under then 4-H agent Ken Battles. The camp is on Wiswell Road in Windsor Township and still today serves multiple counties in northeast Ohio for youth and adult camping experiences. Ashtabula County 4-H’ers will be among campers at Camp Whitewood this summer during the week of June 24-30, said 4H Program Assistant Abbey Averill. County 4-H Educator Jenna Hoyt and Averill work together with over 200 4-H volunteer ad-

upon request of the principals to talk about the youth enrichment programs like Chicks Quest and Rockets Away, which are our most popular,” said Averill. Since 1914 when the U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act establishing a cooperative funded “extension service” with the US Department of Agriculture, State Land Grant Colleges like Ohio State University in this state, county boards of commissioners and groups have all kept programs through the extension service models thriving. Ashtabula County OSU Extension Agent David Marrison said the county extension service operations is funded by federal/ state/county monies. Ashtabula County Commissioners this year provided $150,000 to the Extension Office for its capital budget appropriations. Other dollars come in from state/federal sources, grants and private donations to make up the $250,000 plus operation costs. Marrison explained that the dollars from the county commis-

sioners goes to pay for the 4-H program assistant and part-time office secretary. It also pays a share of the salary for the 4-H educator position at the Extension Service office, plus other office equipment and supplies needed to operate. “We operate quite frugally,” said Marrison. He said every Ohio county board of commissioners has the ability to the program to the needs of its area. A few years ago, the commissioners cut their appropriations to the OSU Extension Service office, but some funding has been restored. “We have to keep an unbiased approach and answer to the people of this county. If we had more funds we could do more programming. Things are changed today from say a decade or so ago. We apply for grants, for example, from the 4-H Foundation, Robert Morrison Foundation in this county, along with USDA and out-of-state foundations. The Ohio Grape Industries Committee through the Ohio


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the county fairgrounds in Jefferson. Tickets are $5 and $3 and are available at the door for the dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, along with the Chinese auction with many items to win. Proceeds benefit the Ashtabula County 4-H Camp Counselors and their programming. The 4-H membership is open to youth age 8 and in the third grade to age 19. A Cloverbud program in 4-H is open to youngsters enrolled in kindergarten, age 5, as of Jan. 1 of the current year. Averill said there are some Cloverbuds within the regular 4H clubs depending on projects and programs undertaken. The OSU Extension Services Office is located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson in the same building shared with the Ashtabula County Soil & Water Conservation District office. To find out more about 4-H clubs, membership information, programs and projects available locally or statewide, call the office at (440) 576-9008 on Monday-Fridays.

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DA, Cleveland Foundation and private persons have also carried us (financially). We did get donations in the past from 4-H families and many farm owners in the county,” Marrison said. “It’s like a 100-piece puzzle to get the necessary funds to do what we feel the community people want and need,” he added. The OSU Extension Service Office has a website with lots of information and upcoming events, including adult- and youth-related topics open to the public. The Extension Service 4H program staff also get involved in the Junior Fair events at the Ashtabula County Fair in early August. Groups of 4-H-related camp counselors, parents of 4-H kids and area businesses help out by supporting fundraising events for the continuation of the county 4-H programs, Hoyt said. An upcoming event, a Rigatoni Dinner and Chinese Auction, will be held on Friday, May 25, at the 4-H Building at

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What 4-H Means to Me

and interpersonal skills which continue to grow with each year they are involved with one another. 4-H is about “learning by doing” and “making the best better”. I get the pleasure of seeing the kids do those each year. By Nancy Sobie - Mustang Wranglers Advisor & Parent

(Letters from 4-H parents, alumni and leaders) 4-H is a great organization. As an 8-year advisor I am very proud. It is feels great to be part of something so good. I make sure to say it very loud. I cannot do it without the help of Ros and Bart. And I cannot forget the members and parents. They help with projects and fundraisers. Also getting our stuff to the fair, from animals to tents. I cannot forget OSU Extension. They guide us and keep us updated. So THANK YOU David, Jenna, Abbey & Kim! Your help is very much appreciated! We teach our members so muchThe 4-H Pledge, showmanship and respect. And don’t forget responsibility and teamwork. All our members know what we expect! Our members have many projects! Woodworking, cooking and rockets are just a few. Not to mention all the different animals we bring. This year the llamas will be making their big debut! 4-H in our county is very important! It teaches so much to our youth! So please please please... when you get the opportunity, Support our 4-H youth! By Kelly Kanicki, Pierpont Mix-n-Match PACS Advisor & Parent

There once was a 4-H club from Pierpont, Ohio. Their name was Mix-N-Match PACS. “To Make the Best Better” was their motto. Their projects ranged from breads & rockets to cows & cats. The club worked hard all year on projects to get ready for fair. They attended meetings, gave demonstrations and aced skillathons. They volunteered community service and planted flowers here and there. Some went to Camp Whitewood and learned canoeing and songs. Fair would arrive before they knew it & animals would be paraded. The signs and curtains would be hung up high with pride. General Projects would be displayed & books were proudly graded. The members were all smiles with awards & ribbons by their side. Trunks were loaded & another year had passed with the blink of an eye. Kids said goodbye to the new friends they made in stride. The members, parents and advisors had worked hard & relaxed with a sigh. What did they learn - win or loss isn’t the true prize - it’s what’s inside. From Pierpont Mix-N-Match PACS 4-H Club (written by Rosmarie Eldred - 4-H Advisor) Speaking as a mom, 4-H has given our daughter the opportunity to meet other kids who share the same love for horses that she has always had her entire life. Speaking as an advisor, I have the pleasure of seeing the kids interact with each other. Each year, they continue to grow in their knowledge of horses, ability to work with one another, level of responsibility, and ability to show compassion for each other and others through community service projects. The kids work hard on their fundraising projects too! They have learned leadership, sportsmanship,

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The reason that I feel that 4-H is a great program is that it gives children a great learning experience in a fun environment. Kids learn work ethic, responsibility, respect and sportsmanship along with the social skills to work with each other. They also learn how to speak to and make presentations to judges and their peers. I was involved in 4H for 10 years and my children are involved in the 4-H program today. I am still active in 4-H as an advisor. 4-H had a big influence on my life and my family’s life. I am a great believer of the 4-H program in Ashtabula County. By Bar t Kanicki, Pierpont Mix-N-Match PACS Advisor & Parent

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I was a 4-H member from age 9 to age 19. I started in 4-H with my horse, but I stayed in long af ter I sold my horse. I joined 4-H for the same reasons as my daughter- to learn more about myself and my animal (anyone remember Shabona, the spunky Appy), but I did so much more with 4-H. I learned about Vet Science (to help my other animals) and photography, and rabbits, and rockets and more. The most important experience was in leadership. The extension agent at the time, Tom Hopkins, was instrumental in starting a lot of programs for teens. We traveled to other counties with CAR Teens and put on programs for our own county. The experiences as a representative of Ashtabula county were great, but so was the white water rafting trip! 4-H is not just about owning and showing cows, or horses or quilts; it is about the four “H”’s: If your Heart is in your community, give a Hand to help and get involved in what is important to you; and good Health is good for us all; but the Head leads the way. We need to take ownership of our county, and realize how great it is. It is not a place to “end up”, but a place to be great. My heart is loyal to Ashtabula County, and I am proud to be involved in 4-H, because 4-H supports what we stand for: “for my club, my community, my country, and my world.” By Tanya (Pasky) Kidd - 4-H Alumni

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What 4-H Means to Me (Letters from 4-H parents, alumni and leaders) What does 4-H mean to me...memories. 4-H has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I remember coming home from fair my f irst year and there was a little heifer calf born in the pasture. She was to be my next year’s project and her name was Dolly. I remember wearing those “McDonald’s” hats in the show ring with my white show clothes...mine whites were usually brown and full of slobber by the end of the day. I remember hearing Lanny Anderson say “Bring in your next class of Holsteins!” I remember getting “S-N-R” shirts made at fair with Seanna most of our teen years. I remember always seeing Hannah Jo and Kathy in matching t-shirts. I remember sitting on my Dad’s shoulders to get a closer view of the fireworks. I remember all the crock pot meals and coolers Mom would bring to fair. I remember our trunks lining the aisle ways of the dairy barns. I remember the football games the beef, dairy and horse guys would have. I remember sweating through the square dances in the show barn. I remember all the fun we had on the dairy judging team and farms we would visit. I remember my years at Camp Whitewood and still enjoy the occasional skittles and popcorn combination. I remember the fun. Memories...I hope my girls and members are able to someday sit at a computer and reflect their years of 4-H with a smile and twinkle in their eye as I just did. By Rosmarie Eldred, Pierpont Mix-N-Match PACS Advisor & Parent 4-H is in the blood. Scott was involved with 4-H and has passed it down to our girls Sydney & Emily. Our girls have been involved with 4-H almost all their lives. Living on a dairy farm gives the girls a chance to showcase our way of life. I love when “City Folk” show an interest in farming and our young girls can give them a life lesson on farming. It’s a great place to be with like-minded people in your town, make new friends, and its good clean fun. Love it!!! By Lynne Millard, 4-H Parent

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I started my 4-H experience over 50 years ago. I got my first horse and wanted to learn as much as possible about caring for horses as possible. Friends from school told me about 4-H and invited me to join them at a club meeting. I got hooked on 4-H at my first meeting and never turned back. As a member of 4-H my fondest memories were those from the county fair. I met so many people who loved horses as I did. Showing my horses at fair and at Ohio State Fair were the most important thing to me. When I had children I wanted them to experience 4-H as I did. But things were different when my children became members. They all loved showing their horses at the fair. And we made several trips to the Ohio State Fair. The championship trophies and belt buckles my daughters won there are still displayed in my home. But my children were able to join Horse Bowl, Hippology and Light Horse Teams. So they learned so much more than I ever thought possible. I became coadvisor in the Silver Stir-ups 4-H Club. That was 30 years ago. Now I have 5 granddaughters in my 4-H club along with 30 other members. Times have really changed, we do projects of all kinds, horse, dogs, rabbits, cooking, sewing, anything that is offered in the 4-H Family Guide. I help coach Horse Bowl and Dog Bowl. I try to encourage my members to be involved in Public Speaking, Horse Bowl, Hippology, Light Horse, Demonstration Contest anything offered and of course I encourage them to try out for State Fair. 4-H is so much more than what it was when I first became a member. The memories that the members in my club have from fair and all the other activities they do they have for their entire lives. I am so glad that I am able to be there to help them with their 4-H experience. 4-H is a life skill they will use through their entire life. By Bernie Kranauer, Silver Stirrups Advisor & Parent/Grandparent

MAC Livestock Sale moved to Saturday JEFFERSON - Breaking with tradition, the Market Animal Committee’s Livestock Sale will be moved to Saturday, Aug. 11, during the week of the Ashtabula County Fair, instead of the usual Friday. The change is being made to give more people a chance to attend, and to accommodate the concert appearance of country singer Jake Owen, who will perform 8:30 p.m. Friday at the fairgrounds in Jefferson. The Market Animal Sale, which is conducted by the Ashtabula County Senior Fair Board through the assistance of the Market Animal Committee, will still be held in the MAC Arena (pig barn) on the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds in Jefferson. During the animal sale, junior fair members sell their market animal project, which they have raised throughout the year and shown during fair week. Each 4-H’er or member of Future Farmers of America brings his or her animal into the ring to be auctioned off. Auctioneers at the event volunteer their time. More details will be announced closer to fair week.

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4-H reaches thousands with school-enrichment programming Every year, more than 4,500 students across Ashtabula County participate in 4-H programming through in-school enrichment activities put on by OSU Extension and the 4H program. School enrichment programs focus on topics from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines to career education and team building. One of the more recognized programs held county-wide is Real Money, Real World (also known as Reality Day) taught at the eighth-grade level to teach about careers. Due to the popularity of this program it has now expanded to the high school level in the junior class where the financial reality of the real world is driven home. In eighth grade, students choose a career and are given a salary based on the career and participate in a simulation where they pay their monthly bills and experience life’s little surprises such as an un-expected bill for a car repair. 4-H and community volunteers man housing, food, transportation, insurance, child-care, utilities and clothing tables where each student visits, with check book in hand, to pay their

bills. Students often learn that “life is rough” and in all reality they may need a second job to pay rent. Youth walk away with the realization that they have time to better themselves for a brighter future by setting a plan for success. In their junior year of high school, teens focus on the financial aspect of life such as learning about a credit score. Other schoolenrichment programs offered through OSU Extension include Rockets Away, Chick Quest and teambuilding. Teachers are encouraged to call for a STEMprogram customized for their classroom. 4-H Program Assistant Abbey Averill has partnered with Ashtabula County Farm Bureau to develop a day of fun and learning about agriculture and the connections to non-rural life with Ashtabula Area City Schools first graders. Youth will have the handson opportunity to meet animals and learn their food comes from animals and not a store shelf. This program is currently in the planning stages and will take place the first week in May.

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Celebrate 4-H


From page 1

ment program began in 1902, right here in Ohio. Famous 4-H alumni include Al Gore, Faith Hill, David Letterman and American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox. In addition, 14 governors, 33 university presidents and chancellors, 31 CEO’s and four astronauts are 4-H alumni. Youth learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through more than one thousand projects with topics as varied as rocketry, GPS mapping, computer game design, public speaking, photogra-

phy, nutrition and community service. The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think independently. In Ashtabula County, Extension Educators at The Ohio State University Extension office on Wall Street in Jefferson conduct the 4-H program. 4-H programs touch more than five thousand county youth each year. Last year 120 volunteer leaders led programs for 820 traditional 4-H members

MARRISON work as a 4-H Advisor for the South Central Livestock 4H Club and as an Ashtabula County Agricultural Society (Fair board) Member. Wynn’s heart has always been in it for the right reason - this being to help kids. I would also like to congratulate Bill and Dawn Burgess for also being selected as 2012 Ohio Friends of 4-H recipients. Dawn and Bill have been huge supporters of 4-H and have been the volunteer operators of our milking parlor at the fair for

many years. Congratulations to Wynn, Dawn and Bill for making the best better in Ashtabula County! I encourage you to check out the Ashtabula County web page at http:// for more information about our 4-H Youth Development program. For those who are on facebook, I would encourage you to “like” the Ashtabula County Extension Facebook page at http:// w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / OSUExtensionAshtabulaCounty


and 4,500 youth through school enrichments programs. While the statistics are impressive, the reality of how the 4-H program touches lives in our county is staggering. In this special issue celebrating National, Ohio and Ashtabula County 4-H week, 4-H members, advisors, alumni and parents have shared their 4-H stories. Take a moment to read what they have shared, because the letters express the true meaning of 4-H much better than any statistic. From page 1 From here you can receive our updates on the many positive programs and activities designed and conducted by OSU Extension in Ashtabula County. Thanks for supporting 4-H in Ashtabula County!

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David Marrison is Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension. Mr. Marrison can be reached at (440) 576-9008 or

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