"Green is Where You Find It"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 4, 2016

There is an old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” The other side of what: the tracks, the road, the town, the county or the state? Perhaps it’s greener wherever you see it that way. If you look around, you’ll see a lot of green in our county. Depending upon the time of year, the amount of green varies. It also depends upon how you view it.

As I see it, over the years, many of our county’s youth held the belief green was found in the big cities. They could not wait to leave the county for “greener pastures.” Many went off to college and received knowledge they could not apply in Huron County. Others found employment in the cities that also could not be applied to living in Huron County.

In recent years, I have observed a reality: You can take the youth out of our county but you can’t take this county out of the youth. It’s not an everyday event, but young families are returning to their home towns and it sure is nice to welcome them back. Some are returning to carry on family businesses while others are bringing new ideas to launch new businesses. Jobs for those living in the area are being created by the new business ventures. A notable example of a new business venture is the Questover assisted living facility that was recently opened in Port Austin by a returning young person whose roots are in the area.

I was impressed when I learned of the “young professional network” recently formed to provide opportunities for those 20 to 39 year olds working in our county to share information regarding their employment. Participants were present from banking, investment, insurance, accounting, medical, manufacturing and several other fields. Their first meeting had a turnout of 25 and event organizers at the Huron County Community Foundation expected an even larger number at the next meeting. The group is a very positive sign that many of our young people are eager to stay in the area.

Participation in FFA chapters throughout the Thumb gives all those who are interested in continuing the area’s agricultural focus opportunities to excel. It’s so impressive to learn of the awards our youngsters gather at the state, national and world level. Raegan Gembarski of Kinde was one of five Michigan high school students who participated in the “World Food Prize Global Youth Institute” held in Iowa. She joined 200 high school students from across the nation and abroad to research food security issues worldwide. More than 1,300 people came together from 60 countries to discuss world hunger and food security issues. Gembarski presented a paper with the theme “Sustainably Feeding 9 Billion by 2050.” Certainly an ambitious topic.

Morgan Gust, a Harbor Beach 10th grade student attended the AMVETS Spirit of Youth Conference where she also achieved national recognition with her essay “What Freedom Looks Like.” Gust was the only Michigan student at the Youth Conference held in Philadelphia. How proud the parents and teachers of these young people must be.

On a sports achievement note, special congrats to Ethan Sobczak, a Bad Axe High School senior who bowled a 300 game, the pinnacle in his sport. A big thanks to John Geiger, Rick Kociba and the many others throughout the area who work with our youth to assist them in achieving their goals.

Perhaps the grass isn’t greener everywhere yet but before long it’ll need cutting and that will offer employment opportunities to youth still attending school. Just a reminder, any young people planning to seek a job for the coming summer season when our population swells, get busy now. Get your resumes freshened up and take them out as early as potential employers will accept them.

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