After 13 years, a farewell to 4-H -- Gazette.Net


After 13 years as a Montgomery County 4-H member, a Silver Spring resident is saying farewell to the Lucky Clovers Club.

Elizabeth Vandegriff, 18, has been part of the Montgomery County’s 4-H program, a youth development organization, for as long as she can remember.

Vandegriff has aged out, but she is saying goodbye in the best way possible.

She entered more than eight items in the 66th annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in Gaithersburg.

Her entries include photographs, scarf, a gluten-free lemon cake with lemon icing, and a prom dress from a different time period, which she wore to her prom.

“4-H is basically a tool that helps kids prepare for their future. It helps them mature and become well-rounded. It doesn’t just prepare you in one subject area; you can do so many different projects,” Vandegriff said.

Children can join 4-H Clover clubs for ages 5 to 7 and continue to age 18, as long as they’re still 18 as of Jan. 1.

Vandegriff’s dress was a reserve champion, meaning second place overall. The lemon cake received a blue ribbon. It was auctioned for $550.

About 325 4-H members entered projects in the indoor 4-H departments, in areas such as baking, photography, sewing, woodworking, art, canning, flowers and vegetables.

4-H clubs developed as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension, affiliated with universities around the country.

The four H’s are Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

As much as Vandegriff is sad to be in her last year in 4-H, she also is excited for the next step in her academic career. She will attend Taylor University in Upland, Ind., in the fall and plans to study film.

Vandegriff also entered videos that she shot, edited and produced in the fair’s first year with a video category.

“That was exciting for me because that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time. I film and edit videos with my friends,” she said.

It was hard for Vandegriff to pick a favorite genre of movie, but she admitted being a fan of the “Matrix” action thriller films.

Vandegriff said she will never forget her time as a 4-H and plans to help as a volunteer when she comes home from college. She is thankful for the memories and friends she made.

“All the people that I know, I’ve known them for so many years. ... When new people come to the club, right away, they’re part of the club. No questions asked,” she said.