Wayne County 4-H gardening program helps build youth entrepreneurship skills

Working under the leadership of key 4-H club leaders Leslie Huffman and Cornelius Williams, the Vandalia Gardens 4-H Club of Wayne County has been instrumental in teaching 4-H youth the business of farming and generating revenue with their harvest.

Working under the leadership of key 4-H club leaders Leslie Huffman and Cornelius Williams, the Vandalia Gardens 4-H Club of Wayne County has been instrumental in teaching 4-H youth the business of farming and generating revenue with their harvest. This gardening club primarily focuses on growing vegetables, including beets, four types of lettuce, yellow squash and zucchini. They also grow Swiss chard and blueberries.

During the summer months of 2009, the Vandalia Gardens 4-H youth and leaders were successful club entrepreneurs as they sold their harvest at local farmers markets throughout Wayne County. Revenue generated from their business was used to offset costs for youth to participate in county and state 4-H events, as well as to cover 4-H member participation fees for the 2009–2010 programming year.

As the Wayne County MSU Extension 4-H educator, I have been excited to oversee the Vandalia Gardens 4-H Club for the past two years. In addition to their business as farmers, the leaders and members of the Vandalia Gardens 4-H Club have participated in critical issues programs with other 4-H clubs, such as social justice programs and youth essay/oratorical contests. These programs enhance their skills in working with diverse audiences and in effective communication, both of which are essential to their success as a 4-H club engaged in entrepreneurial programming!

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