For the past 27 years, Nancy Hyatt, Clay City, has been volunteering her time at the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds during her week of vacation time from Clay City Center of Family Medicine, where she has been a receptionist for the last 25 years.
Nancy began volunteering in 1985 when her oldest son, Jeff, was beginning his first year in 4-H.
"There was a position up at Harrison Township, and they asked me to be the Harrison Township representative on the 4-H Council," Nancy told The Brazil Times. "I said, 'Yes, I would,' and I've been doing it ever since. I have not missed a Clay County 4-H Fair in all those years."
Nancy helps with the weigh in and check in of the beef project, as well as putting the show order together. She emcees the beef, goat, dairy, sheep and swine shows. She is also the clerk for the auction and craft superintendent in the Exhibit Hall.
"I really like all (of the shows)," Nancy said. "I don't really have a favorite one. I enjoy doing all of them."
Her sons, Jeff, now 39, and Ross, now 32, used to show beef, swine and sheep during their time in 4-H. Nancy said one of the funniest memories she has from her time volunteering was when her son, who was in his 10th year at the time, showed a bottle-fed lamb.
"He carried it into the show arena because he was 6'2" so he couldn't bend over," Nancy explained. "When the judge asked him what he was going to do with it after the fair, my son said, 'Put it on the barbecue grill.'"
Nancy said her favorite year she's volunteered has been the first year the fair was at the 4-H Fairgrounds, its current location. Before, the fair took place at Forest Park, Brazil. At the time, she was president of the 4-H Council.
On the Council, Nancy has served as both president and treasurer. She has also served as secretary of the board on the Extension Board. Nancy said throughout her 27 years, she has always been involved in either the 4-H Council or the Extension Board.
During fair week, Nancy volunteers for usually 12 hours each day.
"Every year the superintendents keep asking me to come back, and the kids keep asking me to come back," Nancy said. "The parents ask me too. They say they enjoy hearing me, and I just enjoy doing it."
Nancy said she would keep volunteering until she can't get up on the announcer's stand anymore.
"They tell me they will build me a wheelchair ramp, so I can get up there," Nancy said with a laugh. "I will continue until they tell me they want someone else."
Nancy, who was a nine-year 4-H member herself and participated in foods, said during her time volunteering she has gained many friendships.
"I've gained a lot of confidence in the kids," Nancy said. "They ask me a lot of questions because they see me every year and are comfortable with me. The kids are what I do it for."