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Nobles County Interstate Exchange group experiences western Ohio

SUBMITTED PHOTO Nobles County 4-H Interstate Exchange participants included Nicole Prins (front, from left), Haley Ruesch, Natalie Cook, Mackenzie Wagner, Andrea Fuerstenberg and Kyla Fuerstenberg. Back: Dillon John, Ben Ahlschlager, Mitchell Wagner and Dustin John. Not pictured are adult chaperones Melanie Wagner, Melissa Ahlschlager, Megan Prins and Karen Fuerstenberg.

WORTHINGTON -- Ten Nobles County 4-H youths and four adults traveled to Mercer County, Ohio, for the 4-H Interstate Exchange Program earlier this month.

Mercer County is located on the west side of Ohio and has a population of 40,875 people, Celina is the county seat. Agriculture in the area is very similar to Nobles County with a lot of corn and some soybeans. An average farm size is 225 acres and agriculture practices vary from the high tech farming to the ways of the Amish communities.

In addition to learning about the Ohio 4-H program and agriculture in the community, the youths toured a number of sites and had an opportunity to try a High Ropes Course at Camp Clay, a YMCA camp in nearby Van Wert. That evening, the group was welcomed to an Amish farm for an evening meal and the opportunity to visit with the Amish family on their lifestyle and tour the farm.

On Tuesday, the group traveled to Wright Patterson Air Force Base to tour the National Museum of the USAF. This museum included planes from history including the plane (Bockscar) that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Later that day, they went to Scene 75, a large arcade that included laser tag, bumper cars and go karts. The next day they toured Mercer County. including the Mercer County Courthouse, Fort Recovery Museum and Marker-Hemmelgarn Eggs (a facility that packages and grades eggs for a number of businesses) and also the St. Charles Seminary. At the Seminary, the group was guided by Brother Nick, who was recently honored for sustainable agriculture practices he uses on the land they farm.

One day was set aside for the youths to spend time with their host families, which included swimming and camping.