WARSAW — The new Poss-ABILITIES showcase encourages the involvement of youth with special needs and their families in the 4-H program and makes an interactive livestock experience “possible” for youth of all “abilities.”
The Kosciusko County 4-H Poss-ABILITIES club and showcase serves as a medium for children with special needs to try out the 4-H program. These new members are partnered up with an experienced 4-H member as their mentor, and they work together to exhibit a livestock animal.
In its inaugural year in Kosciusko County, two youth will show sheep. When the youth began the program, they were provided with an informational meeting and got to take part in three farm visits to actually work with the animals. During this time, the 4-H mentors teach them background information on the animal and the agricultural industry overall. They also cover information on how to care for and show the livestock, and information about what 4-H is and all the opportunities that it offers.
Because the youth in the program are actually enrolled as 4-H members, they can take advantage of all the opportunities that any other 4-H member could such as camps, workshops and general projects such as Photography, Foods, Sewing, Tractor, Crafts and much more. The idea, eventually, is for Poss-ABILITIES youth to have their own animals and to show competitively. As the Poss-ABILITIES program continues to expand, the Purdue Extension Office Staff is looking forward to offering the opportunity for the participants to show other species.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, the new members will exhibiting an animal for the first time during a show, with the guidance of their mentors. The showcase will serve as a special class during the Sheep Show in the John Anglin Memorial Show Arena at the fairgrounds. The showcase is not a contest, but rather a way for the members to present the projects that they have been working on and everything that they have learned. Mayor Joe Thallemer will be our judge this year and will ask the youth questions about the project as they show the animals.
The community is invited to come out to the show to convey their support for the Poss-ABILITIES youth and their accomplishments and to get more information about the program.
To learn more about the Poss-ABILITIES program in Kosciusko County, contact Mikaela Conley at the Purdue Extension Office (574) 372-2340.