Laura Allen: Happy New 4-H Year — plenty of opportunities ahead

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

By Laura Allen
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Happy new 4-H year! 4-H enrollment begins annually in January of each year, so now is a great time to join Rowan County 4-H!

4-H offers a broad range of opportunities for youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1). Through 4-H, youths explore their interests and participate in leadership and citizenship development opportunities offered at the local, district, state and/or national levels. 4-H provides a positive environment for youth to learn by doing, while having guidance from adult mentors.

There are lots of 4-H events coming up soon that will be great opportunities for the youths in your life. I challenge you to find a way to get involved with 4-H in 2023!


This workshop series focuses on developing public speaking skills in youth. There are four workshops: Feb. 7, 14, 21, and March 7. Session 1 is for youths ages 7-11 as of Jan. 1 and is from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Session 2 is for youths ages 12-18 as of Jan. 1 and is from 6-7:15 p.m. Total cost is $40 per child (covers all four workshops). Participants must pre-register by Jan. 31. It is limited to 10 youths per session. Workshop leader is Cheryl Kane of Barton & Kane Consolidated who has years of experience with public speaking and leadership development. Workshops are held at Rowan County Cooperative Extension. You must pre-register.


Homeschool families who reside in Rowan County and second and seventh grade private and charter school teachers in Rowan County still have time to sign up for the 4-H Embryology program. During this program, families/classrooms pay $10 and are leased all supplies needed to conduct embryology (incubator, fertilized eggs, brooder box, heat plate, etc). Chicks do have to be returned at the end of the program. This program is a wonderful hands-on learning experience for youths as they study life cycles and agriculture. It is already too late to register for Cycle 1 (which was open to all second and seventh grade classrooms in Rowan public, private & charter schools). Cycle 3 for schools is already full.

Cycle 2 (for homeschool families & private/charter schools): Zoom training: Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m.; Pick up: Feb. 21, 3-5 p.m.; Item return: March 18, 3-5 p.m.

To register, contact me ASAP at

4-H clubs

Rowan County has five 4-H clubs that will be returning for 2023. We also are welcoming a new 4-H club specifically for “Cloverbuds” (youths ages 5-7 as of Jan. 1).

Rowan County 4-H clubs include:

Green Sprouts 4-H Club: new 4-H club starting in March 2023; open to 5-7 year-olds (as of Jan. 1); will focus on fun, hands-on learning experiences and learning about 4-H opportunities; meeting in Rockwell on the 1st Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.

Happy Trails 4-H Club: open to youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) with a focus on horses. The club meets in the eastern part of the county on the third Tuesday each month at 5 p.m. and also has a barn workday on a Saturday each month. 4-H’ers conduct presentations, work hands-on with horses, and participate in 4-H horse program activities (horse bowl, artistic expression competitions, etc).

Hot Shots 4-H Club: open to youths ages 8-18 (as of Jan. 1) with a focus on target shooting. This club meets in Salisbury to conduct business meetings and practice proper firearm safety, usage and responsibility. This club is full for 2023, but does have a waiting list.

Lead Drivers 4-H Club: open to youths ages 8-18 (as of Jan. 1) with a focus on target shooting. This club meets in Mt. Ulla to conduct business meetings and practice proper firearm safety, usage and responsibility. This club is full for 2023, but does have a waiting list.

Rowan Rolling Pins 4-H Club: open to youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) with a focus on nutrition, health and fitness, and cooking. This club meets at the Extension office in Salisbury typically on the first Monday of the month (but it may vary) at 6 p.m. This club is currently full, but does have a waiting list.

West Rowan 4-H Explorers 4-H Club: open to youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1); focuses on lots of different things including electric and STEM, animals, plants, public speaking, teamwork and more. This club meets in Mt. Ulla at the West Rowan Volunteer Fire Department on Grampian Road. They meet on the second Tuesday at 6 p.m.

All of these clubs are led by at least one background-checked, trained and approved adult volunteer and then the youths who join the club. The clubs allow youths to learn how to run a business meeting and provide additional hands-on educational opportunities for youths. Youths in these clubs are involved in the total 4-H program and participate in 4-H achievement plans, project record books, presentations and other opportunities and competitions offered through 4-H. If you are interested in any of these 4-H clubs, please contact me.

4-H Camp

Rowan County 4-H will be attending 4-H Camp at Millstone 4-H Camp in Ellerbe on June 25-30. The camping facility offers lots of opportunities for youths to learn new skills and make new friends. Activities include high ropes course, arts and crafts, archery, nature exploration, campfires, canoeing, swimming, teambuilding and more. Total cost for each youth is $525. Any Rowan County youths ages 8-14 (as of their age at camp) can attend, regardless if they are currently in 4-H or not. Scholarship opportunities may be available. To attend, a $250 non-refundable deposit and registration form are due to Rowan County 4-H by March 24. The remaining balance is due by June 9. Spaces are limited and are first come, first served.

If you are interested in donating to help a child attend 4-H camp, please contact me. We always have families who want their child to attend but cannot afford to do so, and any donations are graciously appreciated.


4-H provides competitions in the following areas: presentations, project record books, expressive arts, photography, horse shows, dairy/poultry/livestock/horse judging and quizbowl, shooting sports and more. Youths have many opportunities to learn and practice their skills.

4-H Summer Fun

We are in the planning stages of 4-H Summer Fun. Be on the lookout for more information about the workshops we will be offering this summer for youths. Children must have completed kindergarten to participate. The information will be shared via 4-H newsletter and Facebook and Instagram, so make sure you join our newsletter email list and follow us on social media to get the most up-to-date information!

Get updates on 4-H

If you want to stay up-to-date with all Rowan County 4-H happenings, then you need to be subscribed to my monthly newsletter. Please email or call me and I can get you added!

How to join

You can enroll your children in 4-H for free at Create a family profile, and then “add member” and complete the information for each child. You will have to select a 4-H club or can choose “Rowan County 4-H At-Large Member” if you are not interested in a specific 4-H Club. You will also have to choose a “project” of interest to your child.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities mentioned, or if you have questions about 4-H, please email me at or call 704-216-8970. You can also check out the most recent Rowan County 4-H newsletter at

4-H is the youth development component of Cooperative Extension. Visit our office at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Laura Allen is 4-H agent with the Rowan County Extension.

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