SIDNEY — Fair season is almost here, and with it comes 4-H activities. Katie Hughes, The Ohio State University’s 4-H Extension educator since March, has an extensive 4-H background and is no stranger to the work required to make these events successful.
“I am looking forward to the busy summer ahead with camp, fair and getting to know the Shelby County community more,” Hughes said. “I am also looking forward to partnering with the schools to get back to some of our in-school programming.”
Hughes was a member of Clinton County’s 4-H program for 11 years and had the opportunity to exhibit livestock, work on still projects, serve on the Junior Fair Board, serve as a camp counselor, and volunteer with CARTEENS, a traffic safety program conducted by 4-H teen leaders. As an adult, she served as a 4-H volunteer in Clinton County where she was a staff member for adult camp and started the Goat Start-Up program for first time market goat exhibitors.
She graduated from Wilmington College in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a specialization in animal science. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in agricultural communication, education and leadership at OSU.
The primary role of a 4-H Extension educator is to provide leadership to the 4-H Positive Youth Development program, including training volunteers, working with camp counselors and teaching in-school programs. Hughes said the best part about her job is getting to know different people and learn pieces of their stories.
“I get to interact with people throughout the week where each situation is different and you get to learn a little bit about each person when they come through the door,” Hughes said. “Just getting to meet the people and work with them is probably my favorite thing.”
Matthew Schmerge, the OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) educator since November 2019, praised Hughes’s dedication to start immediately making progress in the many facets of her position.
“Katie has really taken charge of 4-H for only being here for a month. She jumped right in with 4-H camp, Junior Fair Board, fair planning, quality assurance, advisor training and planning in-school programs for next year,” Schmerge said. “I am happy that we have Katie here in Shelby County to cultivate the 4-H program.”
The Shelby County 4-H camp will be held from June 8 to June 11 at Camp Clifton in Yellow Springs. Registration packets are due to the Extension Office in Sidney no later than 4 p.m. on May 6. More information can be found at shelby.osu.edu.