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      4-H shows their stuff!

      The U.P. State Fair has been going on for a few days now, and there's quite a bit left to do.

      Something the kids can get involved in, besides the rides, is the 4-H Club. And it's much more than you may think.

      By Michigan State University definition, the 4-H club is designed for positive youth development. In fact, MSU says 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Michigan, with more than 200,000 youth between the ages of 5 and 19 participating.

      What all 4-H officials can agree on is that the 4-H club helps with youth development, teaching the kids responsibility and making them the future farmers of America. And Thursday, they were at the fair, showing off their "projects" for the year.

      "Well, I think the kids learn a lot from their projects, and it's a great way to see how agriculture fits in the Upper Peninsula and all the different varieties of animals and crops and vegetables," said Warren Schauer, Michigan State University Extension Educator.

      4-H isn't just animals and agriculture, but that's what many of the kids say they're interested in.

      "Those are our future farmers, whether they raise their own products for themselves or if they get involved in farmer's markets. Agriculture. We all eat, and that's where our food will come from if these kids gain an interest and keep an interest in agriculture. That's our future," said Stephanie Bruno, Swine Superintendent.

      But it isn't easy. Starting a project, such as raising their own animal, takes a lot of time and commitment.

      "Gives them a lot of responsibility to raise that animal and see it. They got to walk it, they got to lead it, they have to wash it," said farmer John Rappette.

      "It's a lot of work. Record books, they got to keep that. Then they're judged, then they're awarded for their record books. But the kids part is a big part," said Jim DeCramer, Beef Superintendent.

      In the end, the kids say it's all worth it. They make many of friends, learn valuable life skills, and have fun doing it all.