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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

December 27, 2023 - 9:15am --

The Wayne County 4-H program may shift into idle mode briefly after the fair, but it quickly revs up to begin another year.

          Our 4-H team has the 2024 program calendar set and, in a few weeks, we will begin to train volunteers and visit elementary school classrooms to raise awareness about the 4-H mission - empowering young people with the skills they need for a lifetime.

          Whether it be at club meetings, camps or through project work and   showing animals at the fair, 4-H volunteers and staff strive to help 4-H’ers become the best they can be and the leaders of the future.

          More than 200 projects provide 4-H members with the opportunity to discover new interests and hone their presentation skills.

Impressive participation number in state and Wayne County

Statewide, 4-H’ers this past year completed 104,927 projects in these project areas: 7,601 in natural resources; 4,625 in STEM; 5,708 in Creative Arts; 75,410 in animal; and 3,772 in food and nutrition. Ohio’s 4-H enrollment climbed 20 percent last year for a total of 156,762 members. Ohio 4-H leader Kirk Bloir said he expects that number to grow again this year.

          In Wayne County, 1,920 youths participated in 4-H youth development programming in 2023. About 300 Still and Family and Consumer Sciences projects were evaluated at two separate judgings.

4‑H is open to youth and teens ages 8-18. 4-H Cloverbud programs are available for youth ages 5-7. Deadline to enroll is April 1.

Explore 4-H options at open house March 4

We encourage any families who have youth interested in joining 4-H to “Come Explore The World of 4-H” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 4, at Fisher Auditorium on The Ohio State University, Wooster Campus.

          The open house will allow families to get connected with a 4-H club and meet local 4-H volunteers and our 4-H staff. They can visit various stations to participate in hands-on, fun activities related to 4-H projects and camps and learn about showing animals and exhibiting projects at the Wayne County Fair.

          Our Junior Fair Board members have been selected and will begin meeting in January. Each member is assigned to one of the nine different Junior Fair departments - Building 10, Beef, Dairy, Dog, Goat, Horse, Poultry/Rabbit, Sheep and Swine in preparation for their duties at the fair. Junior Fair Board members also will assist with the open house event on March 7 and will help plan, organize and run Quality Assurance training and Skillathon, both of which are required for livestock exhibitors.

It all leads up to judging, for which dates are set

Additionally, they also will assist our 4-H staff and the Senior Fair Board with various special projects before, during, and after the fair.

          4-H teens also have the opportunity to be part of Junior Leaders to increase their skills in leadership, citizenship and community service and develop social skills through interaction with their peers and adult leaders.

          Some key events on the 4-H calendar include:

  • Early project judging: 6-9 p.m. July 9 at the Wayne County Fair Event Center
  • Late project judging: 6-9 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Event Center.
  • Style Revue and Awards program for Still and FCS project members who complete early judging: 7 p.m. Aug. 22, in the Shisler Center Ballroom on the OSU Wooster campus.
  • Skillathon: July 10 from 6-9 p.m. and Aug. 7 from 6-9 p.m.

          Project members who have enrolled in 4-H may start their projects any time. The cold winter months ahead are a good time to get a head start on those projects.       

Laurie Sidle is an Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H program assistant and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or
This article was previsouly published in The Daily Record.