County Extension Agent
The Johnson County Fair is still the best deal of the summer. It is scheduled for August 6 – 10 in Gardner. The fair brings together the rides of an amusement park, the entertainment of Branson, the excitement of speed and power, and the animals many of us have read about as kids.
The Johnson County 4-H program continues to be a regular attraction at the fair. Members exhibit a year’s worth of work. These members enter exhibits as small as costume jewelry and as large as a 1,500 lb. steer. 4-H youth exhibit the elegance and poise needed in Equine Horsemanship to the craftsmanship of a fine cabinet maker in Woodworking.
Isn’t 4-H just for farm kids? Do they have to have an animal?
Today’s 4-H program is for all kids — no matter where they live. There is a wide variety of projects from theatre arts to aerospace to wood working and many more. For those who live in town and enjoy animals, cats, dogs, and hand-pet projects are options. In Johnson County there are 20 community clubs that cover the entire county. The culminating event for many club members is the Johnson County Fair. This is the 4-H year end event where youth can show their mastery of a skill set and project work.
Mastery of a skill is considered one of the essential elements to 4-H programs. A youth’s involvement provides for an increase in self-confidence. Our programs allow youth to feel and believe they are capable while participating in activities. Youth need to experience successes and failures while trying to solve problems and meeting challenges in their 4-H endeavors. By exploring projects and activities, youth master skills to make positive career and life choices. To do so, youth must have access to quality research-based content and have the opportunity to learn by doing. 4-H creates a safe environment for youth to make mistakes and provide constructive feedback, not just through competition but also as an ongoing element of the group’s participation. Finally, 4-H programs provide a breadth and depth of topics to pursue their own interests.
Come out to the fair and see for yourself the breadth and scope of the Johnson County 4-H program. Admission to the fairgrounds is free.You’ll be surprised at the variety of opportunities for youth 7 – 18 to engage and grow. See you at the fair!