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Find your place in 4-H

By Laura Allen

Are you seeking a way for your child to get involved in the community, explore interests and gain leadership and career skills? Do you want your child to have the opportunity to gain confidence, be prepared for the “real world,” travel and have fun? If so, 4-H is the place for you!

4-H is the largest youth organization in the nation with over 7 million participants. Membership is free and is open to youth ages 5 to 18.

4-H gets its name from the green four-leaf clover that symbolizes this organization. Each clover leaf has an “H” on it; the H’s stand for head, heart, hands, health. This organization has existed for over 100 years, and if you ask around, you’ll probably find lots of folks in our own community who were a part of 4-H as a child.

Opportunities for youth abound within 4-H. Youth can be in a local 4-H club. Rowan County currently has nine 4-H clubs available for local youth, with the potential to have more. Youth can participate in 4-H competitions, which include presentations, public speaking, judging animals (dairy, horse, livestock, poultry), quiz bowl competitions, project record books and more! These competitions happen at the county, district, state and national levels and focus on developing important life and career skills. Youth can participate in leadership and citizenship activities, such as Citizenship Focus, Winter Enrichment, Youth Voice, and 4-H Congress, just to name a few.

The opportunities are endless as 4-H offers something for every child, no matter their interests or background. Youth who get involved with 4-H gain skills to help them become successful, confident adults.

But, for 4-H to be successful, there must also be hard working adults that assist with this organization. To have a 4-H club, there must be at least one adult willing to lead the group. There must be volunteers willing to give of their time to teach workshops, open their farms/businesses up for tours and provide guidance and support to help children grow through 4-H. So, not only is there a place for every child in 4-H, there is also a place for adults who are willing to work with the youth in our community.

If you are interested in learning more about 4-H involvement for your child or if you are interested in being an adult volunteer, please contact Laura Allen, Rowan County 4-H Agent, at 704-216-8970 or laura_allen@ncsu.edu.

Laura Allen is the new 4-H Agent for Rowan County. 

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