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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Faces of Ohio 4-H — Dr. Laura Sorg

Dr. Laura Sorg

Each month, we highlight an Ohio 4-H alum who has an amazing story to share—from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month, we feature Dr. Laura Sorg, medical director for the State of Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and a proud alumna of Butler County 4-H.

As a third-generation member, 4-H has always been an important part of Sorg’s Sorg as a young girl on her family farm in Butler “I loved my 4-H experience,” she said. “I took cooking and sewing projects and showed breeding and market beef and market hogs in Butler County.”

Outside of her project work, 4-H also gave her the opportunity to travel and expand her understanding of the world. “Participating in Citizenship Washington Focus is one of my favorite memories from my time in 4-H,” said Sorg. “It pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was able to meet new friends and see more than I Sorg was crowned the Butler County Junior Fair Queen in 1999.ever imagined as a 16-year-old kid.”

4-H also helped lead her to her current career. “As a young 4-H member I volunteered at a local health fair with my 4-H advisor, who worked as a nurse practitioner. This experience was pivotal in my decision to pursue medicine.” She now works as a board-certified family physician and has the honor of serving as the medical director for the State of Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

“The skills learned in 4-H also complemented my chosen career path. 4-H taught me ingenuity and resourcefulness and helped me learn how to believe in myself,” said Sorg. Sorg (back right) at the Union County Fair livestock sale with 4-H member Sullivan Cotter and other bidders.“Project judging and the skills learned through leadership and team building activities were also valuable in my path to becoming a physician.”

For Sorg, one of her favorite ways to give back to current 4-H’ers is through her county fair. “The proceeds from my livestock projects funded a large part of my undergraduate education,” she said. In the past several years, Sorg has had the pleasure of Sorg with her son Jake and one of their 4-H projects. Both of her sons are active 4-H members.bidding on projects totaling more than $20,000 at the Union County Fair Sale.

“Giving back is an opportunity for me to show goodwill and support for local youth.” Her advice to current 4-H’ers is to never turn down an opportunity to grow. “4-H gives you the space to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Those moments of growth build true grit.”

Today, Sorg’s sons and nieces are the fourth generation of 4-H members in her family. “My grandmother attended her first Butler County 4-H meeting in 1920 and more than 100 years later my sons are carrying on this legacy. Watching my sons succeed and find their own path through 4-H has been one of the biggest joys of motherhood.”