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

(Continued)

GOSHEN —

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
  • Sheriff’s deputies respond to dispute ELKHART — Nobody was injured after a shotgun was fired Friday afternoon. According to the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department at approximately 5:15 p.m., Elkhart County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a dispute that was occurring in the 21000 block o

    August 1, 2014

  • GN140801 Mackowiak new Millersburg marshal.jpg Retired Goshen police officer sworn in as new Millersburg town marshal

    Retired Goshen police officer Al Mackowiak was sworn in as Millersburg's new town marshal Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hunt_Jeffrey New Paris home invader sentenced to 120 years in prison

    Jeffery J. Hunt was sentenced to 120 years after being pleading guilty to a violent home invasion in New Paris.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

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
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

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?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results