Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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July 20, 2013

Gongwer soaking in the fair and final year in 4-H

— GOSHEN — Ten year 4-H member Daniel L. Gongwer is looking forward to what his final Elkhart County 4-H Fair has in store for him.

The Gurnsey Dairy Club member will be showing his cow, Scarlett, which is the first animal he has.

Gongwer, from Elkhart, says 4-H has given him confidence and pride over the years he has been a part of it.

“I can go down to Purdue this next year, feel perfectly at ease with what I want to study which is agri-business,” he said. “It’s taught me a lot as far as responsibility with the animals, I mean, you got to look after them, they don’t look after themselves.”

Gongwer has been a junior leader for the club and served as a director representative on the fair board for the past four years.

Part of the duties he has with that is attending a 7:30 a.m. meeting each morning during fair week. Gongwer says he will miss those meetings.

“That will be one of the biggest things I miss,” he said. “That and being able to see every body I’ve been able to establish friendship with.”

Gongwer has enjoyed the benefits of showing animals in 4-H, but his love of the animals trumps all.

“There is always that financial side, getting some money compensation for your efforts, but for me it’s honestly just being around the animals,” Gongwer said.

He said 4-H has given him many life skills which he will be able to take with him into college and beyond.

“It’s really just be prideful with what I’m able to do, not to the point where it gets in the way but you’re self-confindent.”

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

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