Webster County 4-H

Missouri 4-H youths Kinzee Clark, left, and Liam Bergthold, right, sold homemade jams and jellies at the Missouri State Fair as part of a business they call 4-H Greens. Joining them at the fair but not pictured were 4-H Greens team member Kalaa Clark and team leader Avonlea Bergthold.

SEDALIA — Four Webster County 4-Hers were among more than a dozen University of Missouri Extension 4-H youths to sell original handmade items to 2019 Missouri State Fair attendees, Aug. 8-18.

Avonlea and Liam Bergthold of Marshfield and Kalaa and Kinzee Clark of Seymour are members of the Heartbeat of the Ozarks 4-H club in Webster County.

Through the 12th annual Show-Me 4-H Wares program, youths are encouraged to start and run their own businesses with skills learned through 4-H projects. The Bergtholds and the Clarks were selected for the homemade jams and jellies they sell as part of their business, called 4-H Greens.

Show-Me 4-H Wares exhibitors caught the attention of fairgoers visiting the Mizzou Central building. Youths said that selling their own work to the public boosted their confidence, enhanced their conversational and social skills, and prompted them to think about their next steps as young entrepreneurs.

The 4-H youths sold a wide range of handcrafted items, including greeting cards, photo prints, paintings, zipper pouches, key fobs, paper quill earrings and necklaces, jams, soaps, fishing lures, paracord bracelets and pet toys. This year’s exhibitors earned more than $1,200 in project sales and learned how to calculate and remit Missouri sales tax.

State 4-H council youths were at the booth selling T-shirts for “4-Hers Helping 4-Hers,” a youth-led campaign to raise $20,000 so more Missouri youth can attend state 4-H leadership conferences.

The 4-H sales booth was part of an exhibit of MU Extension programs that included cooking demonstrations and emergency preparedness resources for families. A 2017 study found that MU Extension provides a more than tenfold return on investment, generating $950 million for Missouri communities each year.

4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and part of the nation's Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.

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