4-H youths showcase skills at State Fair market
SEDALIA, Mo. — Emmett and Evan Finkeldei, both 13 of Blackburn, and Kaitlyn Aulgur and Ashlyn Igo, of Marshall, were among 20 University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth selected to sell original handmade items to Missouri State Fair visitors in August.
Emmett and Evan, both 13, are members of the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club of Saline County.
Through the Show-Me 4-H Wares program, Emmett, Evan, Kaitlyn, Ashlyn and other youth are encouraged to start and run their own business with skills learned through 4-H projects, says Steve Henness, University of Missouri Extension state 4-H youth specialist.
Emmett was selected for his unique succulent and cactus planters, which he sells as part of his business, EF Designs. Evan was selected for his fresh roasted coffee produced and packaged on his family farm, which he sells as part of his business, Let’s Talk Coffee.
Kaitlyn, 18, a member of the Work-to-Win 4-H Club, was selected for her handmade lye soaps, lotions, balms and salves, which she sells as part of her business, Chicory Lane Soaps & Salve. Ashlyn, 13, a member of Bizy Beavers 4-H Club, was selected for her leather earrings, which she sells as part of her business, Leather Jewelry Designs by Salt Fork Spurs.
Altogether, youth earned more than $2,000 in 4-H project sales and learned how to calculate and remit Missouri state sales tax.
Exhibitors sold a wide range of handcrafted items, from goat milk soap and herbal lotions to paintings, earrings and wooden spool coffee tables.
Emmett, Evan and other exhibitors caught the attention of fairgoers passing through the Mizzou Central building. Youth said selling their own work to the public boosted their confidence, enhanced their conversational and social skills, and prompted them to consider next steps as young entrepreneurs, Henness said.
Sales booth participants also learned how their projects can lead toward future involvement in “Made in Missouri” initiatives, such as the Buy Missouri! program, or counseling with a business adviser at a Small Business Technology & Development Center.
The 4-H sales booth was part of a showcase of University of Missouri campus engagement activities, including the MU Science on Wheels program, MU Art on the Move and more. A 2017 study found that MU Extension makes more than a 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.