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Celebrate 4-H during National 4-H Week

Experimenting

Submitted photo 4-H’ers work to program an EV3 robot during the Robotics 4-H Summer Fun program.

By Laura Allen

Rowan County 4-H agent

Happy National 4-H Week! Oct. 6-12 is a week when 4-H is promoted across the nation.

So let’s talk about 4-H.

The program was created in the early 1900s as a way for rural youths to learn about leadership skills and agricultural technologies that could be helpful to their families and communities. It provided practical, hands-on experiences to help foster the learning and development of those involved. 

Today, 4-H, the youth development sector of Cooperative Extension, is the nation’s largest youth organization, with about 6 million members. And 4-H continues to focus on practical, hands-on youth development opportunities, but it is no longer limited to rural youths. You will find 4-H in rural, urban and suburban communities across our country.

Yes, agricultural learning still happens in 4-H, but it is definitely not limited to just that. Today’s 4-H’ers can also learn about nutrition, rocketry, robotics, environmental protection, computer science, photography, public speaking, service, and more. The opportunities are endless.

Rowan County 4-H has grown by 119% in the past year and is full of opportunities for local youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1). Rowan County 4-H has 10 clubs that meet monthly throughout our county with volunteer leaders. There also are county-level 4-H programs and activities.

The busiest time in 4-H is during the summer, as we offer 4-H Summer Fun programs and a weeklong 4-H Camp, 4-H Congress and more. 

Your child can get so much out of 4-H including: speaking skills, practice with record keeping, learning how to properly use parliamentary procedure, salesmanship skills during fundraisers, participation in competitive events (presentations; project record books; photography; quiz bowl; dairy, poultry, equine and livestock judging; awards (money, pins and plaques); sportsmanship; learning to help others; lifelong friendships; travel; networking opportunities; and scholarship opportunities.

The skills that youths can learn through 4-H will help them throughout the rest of their lives. Plus, 4-H experiences look great on scholarship, college and job applications, which is an added bonus.

If you are interested in having your children join 4-H or if you are interested in volunteering with 4-H or learning more about the program, contact me at laura_allen@ncsu.edu or 704-216-8970.

You can also follow Rowan County 4-H Program on Facebook or @Rowan4h on Twitter.

You can support 4-H through donations or participation in fundraisers like Paper Clover Week at Tractor Supply, through Oct. 20; a 4-H hot dog lunch fundraiser at Tractor Supply on Saturday; or purchasing raffle tickets for a chicken-themed barn quilt through Nov. 2.

The 4-H program has a place for you and your family, if you’re willing to give it a try. We would love to have you.

Rowan County 4-H is the youth development component of Rowan County Cooperative Extension, located at 2727-A Old Concord Road.

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