A 4-H life
Palmyra 4-H’er completes final year at fair
This week marks Katy Taul's 12th and final Douglas County 4-H Fair -- at least as a 4-H'er.
"I'm really going to miss it next year," Taul said.
The 18-year-old Palmyra 4-H club member has been a part of 4-H for 12 years participating in everything from dairy and food projects to 4-H camp and National 4-H Congress.
"4-H has given me many opportunities I would not have been able to do," she said.
This week, as she enters her dairy, food and horticulture projects, among others, in the annual fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence, she knows it will be for the final time as a 4-H'er. Next year she will be too old to remain in the organization.
But the fact that Taul remained in 4-H as long as she did is becoming a rarity among 4-H'ers.
"People just don't have the time to do it," she said.
But the many opportunities she had, including a chance to work with adults and youth alike, was why she stayed in the organization.
"I just love it. There are so many opportunities," she said. "I loved doing it more than playing softball."
In her many years in 4-H, Taul participated in a number of projects including foods and nutrition, photography, citizenship and leadership, horses, food preservation, clothing and horticulture. But her favorite, she said, is dairy.
"I really like working with animals," she said.
Taul has won a number of awards for her work in 4-H, including the I Dare You Award, the Douglas County Citizenship Award, the Nunemaker Award and the Sportsmanship Award as well as the Douglas County Foundation Scholarship and the Kansas 4-H Scholarship.
She was also a 4-H delegate, which enabled her to travel to Washington D.C. for the Citizenship Focus and Atlanta for the National 4-H Congress.
She also served on a number of county committees, as well as a number of elected positions in her 4-H club.
Taul said she has learned many things in 4-H that she could apply in her everyday life, including working with others and learning how to speak in public.
"One of my teachers always said she knew who her 4-H'ers were from our cooking skills to our speaking skills," she said.
But Taul said she wouldn't have been as successful in 4-H without help from her leaders both in the club and at the county level.
"They have always been good leaders for me to look up to," she said. "If I ever have a problem, I know I can go to one of them and they'll be happy to help me."
She said her parents and grandparents also played a pivotal role in her 4-H career.
"I know I couldn't have done any of it without them," she said.
Even though Taul will no longer be a 4-H'er at the end of the year, she said she still plans on helping other 4-H'ers.
"I want to continue to be involved," she said. "I like helping."