Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

March 9, 2013

WHO WE ARE: Thousands flock to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair each year to have fun and learn life-long lessons



A history lesson

Fair organizers are getting a handle on where the fair is going. Robert “Doc” Abel is among those with a perspective on where it’s been.

Abel, a Wakarusa physician, is the resident go-to guy on fair history, with good reason. A 4-H’er growing up, he’s been part of the fair since 1934. Abel’s been on the fair board since 1958, serving as president in 1977.

“I saw how important it was for our young people,” he said of getting involved with the fair as an adult.

Abel recalled that when his stint with the fair board began, the group consisted of 12 members. Circa 2013, the number of volunteers is around 130. He also remembers when there were two permanent buildings on the grounds. Today, there are 68.

Over the years, Abel has watched the fair grow and succeed. He attributes the success to volunteerism — and the volunteer spirit is due to the “4-H” in the fair’s name.

“That fair would never be successful if we didn’t have volunteers,” Abel said. “If you had to pay for all that help to run that thing, you could never afford it.”

Popular program

4-H — the “learn by doing” program administered by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service — is the central theme of the fair. Last year, 3,404 Elkhart County young people took part in the traditional 4-H program; another 530 first- and second-graders participated in Exploring 4-H. The youths were guided by 452 adult leaders.

In 2012, there were 149 10-year 4-H members in Elkhart County, according to Extension educator Laurie Sula. This year, the county is on track to have 175 10-year members.

“The 4-H program has been a big program in this county for a number of years,” said Stan Knafel, a retired Extension educator now in the new position of fairgrounds coordinator. He, too, sees 4-H as a prime factor in the fair’s success, plus community support.

“You have people here who are very community-minded,” he added. “They want to put together a showcase for the young people, I think, when it comes to the fair.”

And the fair serves as a showcase for the business community as well, according to Knafel.

Graber also sounded the theme of volunteers, as well as community and business support.

“We’ve been very blessed with people in the area who’ve seen fit to donate their own money to that fairgrounds to ensure that we be able to grow and offer new programs and that type of thing,” he said.

In his new role during the fair’s transitional period, Knafel’s duties include fairgrounds management and coordination. He also deals with rentals at the fairgrounds, and assists the fair president.

“When we get closer to fair, we’ll be problem-solving, I’m sure,” Knafel said. “That’s part of the job.”

Text Only
Breaking News
  • CORRECTION: Outdoor worship, barbecue at Goshen Christian Reformed Church not happening It was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's edition — the Briefly column on A3 — that Goshen Christian Reformed Church was to have an outdoor worship service and barbecue Thursday through Saturday. The event was submitted by a church with the same nam

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police cars hit during multi-county chase According to Middlebury police, officer Gary Smith attempted to locate a silver Saturn leaving McDonald’s on Ind. 13, near U.S. 20 in Middlebury at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 hospital network hacked.jpg Kosciusko Community, Lutheran hospital among 206 hacked

    WARSAW — Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals including Kosciusko Community Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, announced Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry Indicted [GOSHEN NEWS] Texas' Gov. Perry indicted AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rail work to close U.S. 33 Sunday, Monday

    The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 33 at Ninth Street, is scheduled to close the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17 as Norfolk Southern rebuilds its railroad crossing. 

    August 13, 2014

  • Obit Robin Williams_Selm.jpg Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians-12 [GOSHEN NEWS] Israel accepts Egypt's Gaza cease-fire proposal CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group on Sunday accepted a renewed Egyptian cease-fire proposal, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce meant to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq [GOSHEN NEWS] US officials: New round of airstrikes near Irbil NEW DELHI — American officials say the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets near Irbil on Friday, using drones and fighter jets. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millersburg under boil order

    August 5, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results