[r49] Rep. Culver: This is not just any 4-H fair (7/20/2011)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Start Date: 7/20/2011 All Day
End Date: 7/20/2011
This is not just any 4-H fair; this is the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, the second largest county fair in the entire nation.  With the start date quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to highlight what a great event this is for our entire community.

The fair brings entertainment and countless activities to Goshen. This year the same great attractions will return, along with some new ones. It is nine days filled with the parade, rodeo, fair queen contest, concerts, countless rides, competitions and hundreds of other notable events that we all love.

In my opinion, one of the best principal components of the fair is the great life lessons it gives to the estimated 4,700 Elkhart County youth that participate in the 4-H program.

4-H is the largest youth organization in the nation and is considered by many to be one of the best. It works with youth in hands-on ways to teach valuable life-long skills. It is not just about farming and agriculture. The program really has something for everyone, whether you want to learn about sewing, electricity, genealogy or even bugs.

By working on their projects the 4-H-ers are taught leadership, organization, team work and responsibility on top of building great friendships and ties to the community.

4-H members decide which of the variety of projects they wish to learn more about. Most projects work toward promoting life skills such as, cooperation, communication and decision making. These are skills that can be used on a daily basis throughout one's day to day life.

The projects are made available through the Extension Service of Purdue University and through Elkhart County.  It is estimated that 4-H members show around 8,000 projects at the fair each year. Indiana's 4-H programs are supported by Purdue University who also offers many services to develop Indiana's agricultural industry as well.

The 4-H program is something I highly recommend for all kids to participate in. It is a great program that provides unique life experiences and an understanding of the world we live in. It is also rewarding to the many adults who volunteer their time and services.

It is important to give credit to all the volunteers and to those who are actively involved in our community. Without their hard work and dedication the success at the Elkhart County Fair would not be possible.

In this day and age, the government budget is getting tighter and tighter. This puts a direct emphasis on the importance of volunteerism. Our community is willing to work as volunteers and conduct an excellent event where everyone helps our children, promotes our community and that we can all enjoy.

I have been lucky to attend this fair for many years and I know firsthand what an excellent event it is. I am confident this year will be just as great, if not better than before. I encourage everyone to join their family and friends to take part in one of the best county fairs America has to offer!