Ever have one of those “It’s a small world” moments? I had one recently that is still making me smile.

I was inspecting a field of evergreens and the guy mowing his yard on an adjacent property saw me and came to check out what I was doing. Once he figured out that I was the inspector and I figured out he was the tree farm owner’s brother-in-law, we had a bit of a chat. We talked about the challenges of this year’s weather on the new planting, pests that I saw on the trees, emerald ash borer and spotted lantern fly.

Then he asked about my work territory and where I lived. After I described the farm, that’s when we had the small-world moment.

I told him that there were no more dairy cows at our place or the dairy farm I grew up on either. He said he had a friend who was a former dairy farmer but he was from Geauga County. Smiling, I said that is where I grew up and asked who his friend was. Here it was someone my family knew well.

Then he asked if I had participated in 4-H. I said, “Of course.” It was what farm kids did to fill their summers.

I had sewing projects and dairy cattle projects every year starting when I was 9 years old. I continued to participate until the summer after my freshman year in college. I was one of the lucky ones who was still 18 at the first of the year, the age limit, even though by the time fair came around I had turned 19. I still enjoy going back to my home fair where so many memories were made.

But 4-H is for all kids ages 9 to 18, not just farm kids. There is a project for everyone. Dairy and beef cattle, sheep, horses, goats and poultry are common animal projects, but there are also projects for cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters and mice. There is a series of projects on Veterinary Science that are designed to help the 4-Her learn about animals and their care.

Animal projects don’t interest you? How about sewing? There are public speaking and demonstration projects that help develop communication. Cake decorating, quilting, scrapbooking, family genealogy, photography, archery and lots of food and nutrition projects. Maybe you are interested in healthy living, money management, gardening and plant science — there are projects available.

I could go on and on, but you can check out project ideas here.

Even better than that, you can attend the seventh annual Fall 4-H Kickoff. It is a countywide 4-H club open house that showcases many of the 26 Trumbull County clubs.

This year’s event will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Monday Nov. 15 at Champion Presbyterian Church, 4997 Mahoning Ave. It is great opportunity to explore club and project options. You will meet 4-Hers, advisers and volunteers who will be glad to help you find a project right for your 4-Her.

Submitted by Mary Smallsreed , a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.


OFBF Mission:  Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

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Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

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Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

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Eric Bernstein

Kalmbach Feeds

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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

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