Abby Deaton - Community Blogger
Abby Deaton
Abby Deaton, a senior communication major at Goshen College, is working with FiveCore Media General Manager Kyle Hufford to research the use of video on community blogs through the college's Maple Scholars program.

Deaton will be creating videos that focus on events and people in the Goshen community. In the summer of 2013, she did a similar project for Goshen Commons. She is one of several former Goshen Common's bloggers that will be contributing to The Elkhart Truth's Community Bloggers section until Goshen Commons returns the fall of 2015.

VIDEO: The heart of the fair lies with 4-H’ers

Ellie Lengacher, who shows calves at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, says 4-H is about learning responsibility, building community and supporting fellow participants. 

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 10:29 a.m.

For 4-H participants like Ellie Lengacher, the arrival of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair means a lot of hard work has finally paid off.

Lengacher, a junior at Northridge High School, has been raising dairy feeder calves since she was in third grade. Participating in 4-H is a family tradition. Her father was in 4-H in Evansville when he was in school, and her sister was in swine club during her time in school. As a young girl, Lengacher would go and help her sister with the pigs, but was always fond of the cows.

“I loved playing with it. I loved feeding it and just hanging out with it,” said Lengacher. “So I told my dad after that that I wanted to do cows.”

Abby Deaton is a senior at Goshen College who is creating a series of videos about people in the Goshen community as part of the Maple Scholars program. Visit her community blog for The Elkhart Truth, Speaking of Goshen..., to see more of her work.

Her family has not only been inspirational, but supportive in her 4-H efforts. In addition to 4-H, Lengacher is also involved in soccer, basketball and choir. With her busy schedule, Lengacher’s parents occasionally go to the farm to take care of her calf. 

But her parents certainly don’t do all the work. In fact, they have often given her more responsibility than is required by the 4-H club. Lengacher believes her parents taught her a lot of responsibility through her participation in 4-H.

“For my parents, they would put more responsibility on me as I got older, like 'You have to do it by yourself now. I want you to write checks by yourself. I want you to manage the feed and going down to make sure he’s ok, he’s not sick.’”

The Dairy Feeder Calf Club meets once a month and is run almost completely by 4-H participants. But the support extends to more than just that monthly meeting. Lengacher went to her club leader, Mike Lee, when her calf was injured during a routine check-up. The calf, which she had been working with since February, was no longer able to be shown at the fair, but Lee was able to find her someone who was willing to loan a calf for the fair.

“Everyone is really supportive of each other,” Lengacher said. “It’s a project as a community almost.”

In her eight years as a 4-H participant, Lengacher has really grown into a successful breeder, having won several awards in showmanship and Reserve Grand Champion last year.

“That was one of the best feelings in the world. I worked really hard walking him all the time and feeding him, and that was just the cherry on top of a perfect year,” said Lengacher.

This year was another big one for Lengacher. She won senior showmanship, received first in her class and got medium weight champion. But being in 4-H has been rewarding in other ways as well, according to Lengacher.

"It’s not just about your calf,“ she said. ”It’s about your experiences and the people that you meet. And even the judge. That’s like kind of like your boss. You have to know what your boss wants. You have to know what the judge wants. It all connects to life.“

Would you like to become a community blogger for The Elkhart Truth? 

Get in touch with community manager Ann Elise Taylor at ataylor@elkharttruth.com.

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