Our Opinion: Greene County 4-H: A family a-fair

Friday, July 20, 2018

Just like many Greene County families, our staff has spent much of this week at the Greene County 4-H Fairgrounds watching local youth show off their hard work during fair week.

As we make way between the show rings, arenas and animal barns, there is one thing that stands out: The young 4-Hers are not the only ones putting in the hard work.

We live in a busy, 24/7 world where most parents dont clock in from 9-5. Even for those who do work a structured scheduled, they are plagued with the constant dings of text messages and email straight to their smartphones.

But, for that one week a year, you can stroll through every single barn and arena at the Greene County Fairgrounds and see total togetherness.

There are no arguments over who is using the tablet or fawning over text messages. There is just scrubbing pigs, shoveling dung and sweating as a family.

Honestly, the only electronic devices weve seen this week at the fairgrounds are cell phones of proud parents of 4-Hers getting their ribbons or showing off their well-trained horses.

The 4-H youth deserve praise for their hard work leading up to and during fair week, but we also want to give a shout-out to the hardworking parents who are putting in hours behind the scenes. (Except maybe a few teens during their downtime.)

There is so much dedication from the families of 4-H members. They set life aside for a whole week to make sure their children are successful.

Even during a rabbit show at 9 a.m. in the middle of the week, the stands are nearly full, whether its a group of mini 4-Hers or a group of 10-year members rounding out their last year of the program.

Parents can be seen taking one animal while their child gets ready for their next show with just five minutes until show time.

Wednesday morning one of our staff members had to giggle while a dad was making tracks across the fairgrounds with a goat in each hand, stopping to talk to another parent while hanging onto the wriggling animals like it was just a normal Wednesday.

Then again, being a parent to a small child is not much different than wrangling farm animals, is it?

The 4-H members and their families can definitely teach us a thing or two about showing up for the people who mean most to you, and being fully present.