Liberty Lavelle, Staff Writer

4-H is the largest youth organization in America; however, many people have little knowledge as to what the organization is. 4-H is essentially a large organization containing many programs for kids to participate in, in order to further their real-world education, gain life skills or even just learn new hobbies. 

Within the 4-H, there are several different programs and clubs that allow members to participate in a variety of things. In 4-H, there are four main types of projects: animal and livestock, sports, hobbies, and science projects. These include raising and breeding livestock, training and exhibiting pets, gardening, baking, exhibiting art and photography, archery, and much more. Additionally, members can earn money or prizes after the completion of these projects. 

Doing any 4-H project can be beneficial to a youth’s growth and development. 4-H is all about youth empowerment, and it is centered around teaching and helping kids. Through 4-H, members are exposed to people of different backgrounds, creating friendships, and gain a better understanding of the world around them. 4-H also opens doors to a lot of scholarships and educational opportunities. 

In this area, the exhibition of 4-H projects most commonly takes place at the Canfield Fair, but there are a lot of smaller fairs and shows in which kids can showcase their projects. A huge goal of most 4-H members is to participate in the Ohio State Fair, which is actually significantly larger than any fair in our area, but it is also requires more tasks and experience. 

If 4-H sounds interesting or appealing, but overwhelming in terms of how to join, or even how to learn more about it, there are a few resources that can help. On the 4-H website, you can find more information about when and how you can get involved, as well as scope out what specific parts of 4-H would be a good fit for you. Another helpful site to check out is the Mahoning County Junior Fair website, which can give you a better idea of what local opportunities there are through 4-H, as well as who to contact if you have questions.