4-H queen exemplifies new face of farm group

The group has taught this teen about leadership and self-reliance.
CANFIELD -- Shannon Stanwood doesn't seem like the average 4-H member. She didn't grow up on a farm, and she didn't raise animals as a child.
Her hobby is sewing.
"When I was little, I just did 4-H; I thought everybody sewed," said Stanwood, 18, of Columbiana.
On Thursday, Stanwood was named the 2002 4-H queen of the Canfield Fair.
Adam Day, 17, a senior at Western Reserve High School, was named 2002 4-H king.
Stanwood's success is evidence of how 4-H has grown and changed since it was founded in Clark County 100 years ago. The organization was created to give boys and girls a chance to learn about agriculture by doing a variety of farm-related projects.
Today, 4-H offers many projects that aren't related to farming. Some of those call for members to build water rockets, develop a family history or decorate a room.
Stanwood said she sews many of her own clothes, allowing her to have a different style from her friends. She added that 4-H and sewing have taught her how to rely on herself and succeed.
"I can do this on my own. ... I don't have to buy as much," Stanwood said.
Stanwood also has raised chickens and pigs during the last few years. She said her mother, a 4-H alumna, got her involved in 4-H when she was 9.
"And I just kept at it," she said.
Other advantages
Over the years, 4-H also has taught her leadership skills and given her the opportunity to work with children, she said. That experience could come in handy when she graduates from Ashland University. She is a freshman majoring in education at the university this year.
Stanwood added that she may become a 4-H adviser when she graduates from college.
"I've worked really hard and this is the last year," she said, when asked how it felt to be named queen. "It's a good way to end it."

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