Contest funds supporting 4-H projects

A 4-H leader’s winnings from a local dance competition will help 4-H’ers do service projects to help the community.

Amy Kelsay danced her way to $20,000 in winnings in the Johnson County Dancing with the Stars competition, where local community members compete for donations to the nonprofit agency they represent.

She decided she wanted to use the money to help 4-H and the community that helped her win, she said.

Kelsay and a committee decided to start an endowment that would allow 4-H groups and individuals to apply for grants that would help them in 4-H or offer a service to the community, rather than using the money for one large project or giving the money to just one 4-H group, she said.

“The thought is then that more people can benefit from it,” she said.

“We wanted to create a program that benefited kids all across the county.”

Starting in October, 4-H’ers can apply for grants worth up to $500. A total of $1,500 in grants will be allowed each year for the first two years, Kelsay said. The Johnson County Community Foundation will be stewards of the money and 4-H’ers can apply for grants through its website, Kelsay said.

Now, 4-H leaders are starting to spread the word about the grant, and a kick-off will be announced at the fair later this week, she said.

The money is meant to be used in almost any way that can help a 4-H’er, Kelsay said.

For example, 4-H’ers attend camps and classes that have registration fees. The money might help offset those costs, or for a group to do some kind of service work in the community, she said.

And 4-H groups can pay to bring in professionals to teach a new skill at a class, Kelsay said.

“There were different needs in 4-H that we wanted to see happen,” said Glenn Farris, 18, a 4-H’er who was on the committee that decided what to do with the money.

Farris’ 4-H group has brought in professionals to teach them leather working and basket weaving skills. While most professionals offer their classes for discounted rates or for free, groups try to pay them for their travel, Farris said.

The grant can help offset the cost and will allow groups the ability to bring in someone they may not have been able to without the money, Farris said.

“It opens the door to more opportunities,” Farris said.

If you go

Here is the fair schedule for Wednesday.

9 a.m. — 4-H Swine Showmanship; 4-H Gilt Born and Bred Show; 4-H Barrow Swine Show; 4-H Swine Senior Showmanship immediately following the Barrow Swine Show (Indoor Arena, north end)

9 a.m. — 4-H Dairy Breeding Show; 4-H Dairy Showmanship; 4-H Dairy Feeder Steer Show; 4-H Dairy Feeder Steer Showmanship (Indoor Arena, south end)

11 a.m. — RT2 (Read, Touch, Taste) for children ages 5-7 (Heritage Hall)

11:30 a.m. — 4-H & Open Class exhibits open to the public

1 p.m. — 4-H Horse & Pony – Versatility (Horse Arena)

3 p.m. — 4-H Born and Raised Heifer Show (Indoor Arena, south end)

4 p.m. — 4-H Dairy Steer Show; 4-H Beef Steer Show; 4-H Grand Champion Steer Show

5 p.m. — Midway opens

5-8 p.m. ­— Cooking demonstrations (Farm Bureau Building)

6 p.m. — 4-H Horse & Pony – Contesting Division (Horse Arena)

6 p.m. — 4-H Grand Champion Barrow Selection (Indoor Arena, north end)

6-11 p.m. — Poor Jack Amusements Moonlight Madness on the Midway, unlimited ride bracelet $20 (weather permitting)

6:30-10 p.m. — Gospel music in the “A” Tent (north of Scott Hall)

7 p.m. — Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest for ages 5-10 with three classes, free entry (Farm Bureau back lot)

7 p.m. — Battle of the Bluegrass Truck & Tractor pull (Grandstands); admission: $10/adults, $5/kids 12 & under

7 p.m. — Horseshoe pitching (west of the Fair Office)

7 p.m. — Free Stage: Rockin Horse

7 p.m. — Cash drawing at the day sponsor booth (Herring Hall entrance); must be present to win

9 p.m. — 4-H Livestock Sale entries due (Fair Office)

9 p.m. — Entry deadline for Baby Contest (Fair Office)

Author photo
Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.