There are many fairs and festivals going on this time of year in our region. I had a chance to visit several of them--and just back from the Cabell County Fair.
It was very evident that the entire fair circuit is experiencing an increase in youth involvement and the attendance seems to be up, as I talk to fair officials. It is great to see this continued interest in fairs because agriculture is the base of just about any economy including our tri state region.
There isn't any other place to view the agriculture of today and agriculture of the future as the youth in 4-H and FFA display their talents. Today, we wonder with amazement about all the juvenile crime we hear and see in the media. However, as one local judge mentioned here in Cabell County, I very rarely, if ever, find a 4-H or FFA member in my courtroom.
We as adults have a responsibility to protect this type of environment and experience that thousands of youth are involved in. You can do this by attending your local county fair. By your attendance, you are encouraging youth to remain in 4-H and FFA--both of which are solidly supported by our higher and secondary educational systems in the Tri State.
It's interesting that the 4-H program was originally organized to improve crops and animal production. The parents and other farmers observed first hand the new technology these youth took into practice and they, too, also learned best management practices.
So, whether you are a farmer, gardener, or even a consumer of fruits and vegetables or even meats, your county fair is the place to visit this summer. Don't forget to purchase one of the youth's market animals if you want to eat well this winter.