4-H members learn entrepreneur skills

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Travis Perreault, 8, of New Vineyard discusses the fine qualities of his homemade slime with a customer at the Farmington Farmers' Market Saturday. (Dee Menear/Franklin Journal)

FARMINGTON — Members of the Franklin County 4-H Rabbitteers Club had a chance to learn valuable business skills while making some extra money Saturday.

Under the leadership of Melissa Gerrish of Wilton, a half-dozen young entrepreneurs sold homemade treats and handcrafted goods at the farmers’ market on Main Street.

“4-H has been invited to the market for many, many years. It is a chance for them to practice entrepreneurial skills,” explained Gerrish.

Travis Perreault, 8, of New Vineyard measures flour for chocolate chip cookies at the West Farmington Grange Hall Friday. Perreault and other members of the Franklin County 4-H Rabbitteers’ Club spent the afternoon making treats to sell at the open air farmers’ market the following day. (Dee Menear/Franklin Journal)

Youth spent Friday baking cookies, brownies, kale chips, and other treats in the kitchen at the West Farmington Grange Hall. In addition to edible treats, youth also sold marshmallow shooters and containers of colorful play slime.

“One of the requirements of a food vendor at the market is that food is prepared in a commercial kitchen. We are glad to be able to make a connection with the grange so kids can have use of a commercial kitchen,” explained Tara Marble, Franklin County 4-H Youth Development Professional.

Youth were responsible for every aspect of being an open air market vendor. They choose what to sell, compiled shopping lists, purchased ingredients, and prepared the goods.

“They also had to figure out how much it cost to make something and how much to sell it for,” said Jason Perreault of New Vineyard. Perreault’s son, Travis, is a member of the club.

The club is one of about 11 active 4-H clubs in Franklin County, Marble said. There are about 110 children involved in clubs throughout the county. Clubs vary in focus depending on the interest of the group.

William Gerrish, 7, of Wilton seriously seasons fresh kale before roasting into chips. (Dee Menear/Franklin Journal)

“There are groups with concentrations in livestock, arts and crafts, and robotics. There are also several multi-interest groups that cover everything from dairy to woodworking to literature,” Marble added.

To join a 4-H club, contact Marble. The program is open to youth 5-18 years old. To join a 4-H club, contact Marble, who will connect interested members with a club based on interests.

“The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach,” Marble noted.

For more information, contact Marble, 207-778-4650, 800-287-1478 (in Maine), or tara.marble@maine.edu. More information is also available online at extension.umaine.edu/franklin/4h.

 dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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