What A 4 Leaf Clover Taught Me

4:36 AM

"I pledge my HEAD to clear thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service and my HEALTH to better living..."

It's 5:00 a.m. and the alarm clock is going off as my Mom is telling me it's time to get up. I hurry out of bed, throw on some old clothes and re-check to make sure I have every piece of my show outfit in place. We excitedly hop in the truck and by 5:45 we're pulling into the fair grounds where our fair family is slowly making their way across the grounds to prepare for what will be an exciting but busy morning. We wash our pigs, do last minute trims and top them off with some hairspray so they have that sparkle and shine. After a quick tidy of the pin, it's time to change into our outfits and then it's the moment we've all worked so hard for, show time. 

At 9 years old I was privileged enough to join a 4-H club, The Thomas Toilers. Throughout the next 10 years I prepped the entire year for 1 week at the county fair where I participated in numerous livestock shows, entered a variety of general projects for competition and received more blue ribbons than I knew what to do with. I never knew at 9 years old that the most important lessons that 4-H taught me, had absolutely nothing to do with livestock or general projects. In the beginning I didn't realize that I was learning hard work, dedication and service, I was just having fun with people who became fair family and friends. I had no idea that every time I stood in front of a judge for whatever project it maybe, I was gaining the skills I now use in my career every single day to inform, promote and educate. I never realized that 1 organization over a time span of 10 years would help shape me into the woman I am today.

The life lessons learned are now a lifestyle and the memories made are forever ingrained into my heart. There is nothing better than water balloon fights (no one is ever safe), the fresh goat milk ice cream and the sweet summer crushes that were the talk amongst all 4-H'ers the entire week. Only a few of the sweet memories made at the county fair.

So the next time you go out to your county fair remember, it's not about the carnival rides, concerts or lemon shake-ups (even though they're one of my favorite things) it's about the 4-H kids who have worked a year in the making all for them to only blink and that 1 week be over. Take the time to walk through the livestock barns or the general projects building to see all the hard work and dedication put in by kids ranging from 9-17 years old. And if you see a 4-H'er in their livestock pen tending to their animals and not out riding the ferris wheel, please tell them thank you, because without them, there would be no reason to have a county fair.

"...for my club, my community, my country and my world."

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  1. Our 4-H group in Roseville was the Happy Hustlers.
    Great experience for us too!

  2. I too was in 4-H and then FFA, I showed hogs. I have been to two county fairs so far this year and have another this coming weekend. Making the rounds. :)


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