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Time for thanks!
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

There is always time to say thank you! Taking time to not only feel gratitude but showing our gratitude is important. So, let me take a moment and say thank you!

Thank you to the 4-H members who investigate new projects and interests. Thank you to the youth who step up and take on leadership roles. Having a part in youth developing skills and leadership is an amazing part of my work.

Thank you to the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors who help, teach, and transport youth for broadening their horizons. We could not do this work without you as you listen to countless versions of a club day presentation, eat the 10th trial of an angel food cake practice, or include a youth in the day to day decision making of feeding and caring for their livestock. 

Thank you to the teachers who invite us in to your classrooms to interact with different groups of youth! From baby-sitting classes, leadership lessons, STEM programming, or table etiquette, interacting with the young people in your classrooms is fun and challenging! 

Thank you to Cottonwood Extension Board members who support our work and professional development so that we can continue to impact and positively influence our communities.

Thank you to the Barton County Fair Board for the tireless hours and energy you give to provide a fun and interactive event each year. 

Thank you to the many community partners who invest both time and money into providing opportunities and direction for 4-H members to learn and grow.

Thank you to 4-H event and award sponsors. Your commitment to supporting and rewarding 4-H members is invaluable.

There is a long-standing phrase that says “it takes a village to raise a child” and positive youth development is truly about a village to provide youth with opportunities to learn, explore, and grow. I have said many times that developing strong leadership skills for youth who want to return or remain in our communities is crucial for our rural communities to not just survive but to thrive!

Who in your world needs a thank you today? Take the time to drop a note, send a text, or pick up the phone and tell them!

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness.

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.