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Jamboree At The Mill Strengthening Local Youth

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Hogs and goats and heifers, oh my. All of those animals and more are on display at the WVU Extension in Jackson's Mill for the annual Jamboree at the Mill. The event showcases the work of 4-H and FFA members in Lewis County; members like Tyler McWhorter, who's been raising animals most of his life.

"Today, I'm working on goats and hogs, but I've also got a market steer and some lambs and a couple breeding heifers," McWhorter said.

But organizers said it's not all about the livestock. 4-H has grown since its original days as a corn club, and members can also branch out into other projects that are quite different from its agricultural roots.

"There is so much more, so much, and it can be anything from recycling projects, to learning about engines, clothing, we have beautiful clothing projects here, cooking, string art," said volunteer chair Helen McClain.

McWhorter said the lessons he's learned through 4-H and events like the Jamboree have been important, but there's another plus as well. Some of the money from the sale of the animals he's raised have helped the rising senior fund a college career at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

"People here, they come to the livestock sale here and they usually pay a little more than what the market calls for, and that's awesome for us that are in college, because it really helps to make a difference. It's coming up on tuition being due, so it makes a huge difference to all of us that are getting ready to go into college or are already there," McWhorter said.

He said he's enjoyed his experience with 4-H and the Jamborees so much, he's looking at becoming an extension agent himself after he graduates.