Grab an “ear” if you’re a Mountaineer at the WVU Collegiate 4-H Club’s annual Corn Roast during Mountaineer Week this fall.
The 4-H Corn Roast will kick off on Friday, Oct. 30 and will go through Sunday, Nov. 1. The Collegiate 4-H Club will be set up outside the Mountainlair during those days selling corn for $2 per cob with the help of Monongalia County WVU Extension 4-H Agent Becca Fint-Clark.
Fint-Clark, who is also the 4-H Club’s co-advisor along with her husband Brent, re-invented a tradition that got lost in time by starting the annual Corn Roast during Mountaineer Week when she was a club member in graduate school.
The Corn Roast, along with a Council Circle, was an early tradition during Mountaineer Week. According to Fint-Clark, somewhere over time it was forgotten, so she revived it.
“It’s a great way to get students acquainted with our club on campus, and now it’s something people look forward to every year,” she said.
The Corn Roast is almost completely handled by the 4-H Club, led by WVU senior psychology major and Club Vice President Joshua McCartney.
According to McCartney, the Club members work diligently to ensure the Corn Roast is a success. They rise early to start the fire, soak the corn and then put it on the fire in order to sell corn throughout the day.
“The best part is the experience of it,” McCartney said. “Being able to wake up in the morning and see the University come to life by an open fire is amazing.”
Fint-Clark said the main goal of the Corn Roast is to promote 4-H and its Appalachian roots.
“4-H clubs originally started as corn clubs, so although it has evolved from that, it’s important for people to learn our history,” Fint-Clark said. “It’s great that we can do something that reflects our heritage especially during Mountaineer Week.”
Mountaineer Week was founded in 1947 as a one-day festival. Its original intention was to stimulate school spirit before the football game against the University of Kentucky. It involved a pep rally, dance and parade.
Collegiate 4-H got involved with Mountaineer Week in 1975 and has contributed to the celebration of Appalachian heritage by teaching folk dancing, preparing traditional food, making crafts, quilting and eventually roasting corn.
Although the Corn Roast is mostly an event to publicize 4-H and its background, it will be raising money for club efforts. The members will use the funds toward social events, future promotion or community service project funds.
The Club’s next activity will be a Thanksgiving dinner social where they will make Linus Blankets to give to the WVU Children’s Hospital.
To learn more about the WVU Collegiate 4-H Club, attend their biweekly Tuesday meetings or visit bit.ly/1OpeLHz. To learn about 4-H in your community, contact your local WVU Extension Service Office.
CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
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