18-year-old Sara Baldwin has been in Kool Kids, a Clark County 4-H club, for 10 years. It’s a family affair for the Baldwins. “My mom signed my brother and myself up for 4-H when I was eight, and my brother was five,” Sara explains. Since then, she has made a lifetime of memories that she is sad to see coming to an end.
“What started as a way for me to find friends, turned into finding an amazing community that supports me, as well as a second family that will stick with me for the rest of my life,” Sara shares about her 4-H club, which she refers to as a family club.
Over the years, Sara participated in two 4-H projects: Boer goats, which is a market animal, and sewing. With market animals, 4-Hers not only learn husbandry, but also business skills. Members approach businesses and individuals to tell them about their project and ask for bids on their market animal come auction day, which happens after the fair. Sara says that the skills she learned doing goat 4-H were some of the best parts of being in 4-H. “My favorite thing about the 4-H goat project is all the values and life lessons you learn,” She explains. “Two of the most important things I’ve learned over my years of raising animals are the values of hard work, and determination.” She also showed black angus outside of 4-H.
“My second favorite project I’ve done in my 10 years of 4-H is sewing,” she continues. “I started sewing seven years ago and have loved learning a valuable life lesson.” It’s amazing how many young people do not know how to sew these days and wish they did. I am a lucky person in that my mom taught me to sew, but my friends are constantly asking me to teach them or sew something for them. Sara is right that it’s a valuable life lesson she is sure to appreciate more and more as she gets older.
“To make the best better” is the 4-H motto. “Over the last 10 years, 4-H has taught me how to be the best version of myself,” Sara answers when asked what 4-H has taught her. “I am the person I am today because of the 4-H program and the amazing opportunities it has given me.”
Although her time as a 4-H youth has come to an end, and sadly without a County Fair to end it with a bang, Sara plans on continuing her involvement with the organization. “This amazing program has done so much for me and I want to give back to those new to the program,” she shares. “I plan to find a way to continue to be a part of this organization by volunteering my time into a local 4-H club.”
No fair meant Sara did not get her favorite thing either, the famous Dairy Women’s milkshake! “It has been two long years since I have had the chance to enjoy a delicious milkshake and can’t wait until the 2022 Clark County Fair for my favorite milkshake!” she says.
After the summer, Sara is heading to Clark College this fall to major in business, where she can put to use all that 4-H has already taught her.
If your child is interested in joining 4-H, check out the Clark County 4-H extension office website.