4-H Spotlight

Friday, August 20, 2010

What is 4-H?

Cherokee County 4-H is open to any youth in grades 4th through 12th. New members can join 4-H at any time of the year. We encourage new members to join in the fall, so that they can experience the complete 4-H year, and don't feel like they have missed something.

It is that time of the year again for 4-H members to re-enroll and for the recruitment of new members. I will have a display at the Cherokee Community Schools registration days. I will more than happy to talk with anyone who has any questions about joining 4-H. Of course you can always contact me at the Extension Office, too.

When a youth joins 4-H, they join a 4-H club. Most 4-H clubs contain members who live in the same area or who have similar interests. There are three special interest clubs in Cherokee County. They include the Cavaliers, Robotiacs and Shooting Sports. There are also two clubs in the Marcus area, the Marcus Go-Getters and the Tilden Tillers. There is one club in the Meriden-Cleghorn area -- Sheridan Stars. Most Mill Creek Valley club members are from the Larrabee area.

Each 4-H club meets once a month. Some of the clubs meet in members' homes and others meet in churches or community buildings. Most clubs meet on a weeknight, however some meet on Saturdays or Sundays.

Most 4-H clubs follow a set meeting schedule. The beginning of the meeting is a business meeting. They will discuss upcoming county activities and plan new club activities. A lunch or snack will be served during the meeting. At each meeting, various 4-H'ers will give a presentation on a topic of their choice. This is an excellent way to learn about different project areas. Some clubs choose a project area each year and spend a year focusing on various topics in that project.

During the year, 4-H'ers choose different project areas to learn about during the 4-H year. There are 60 different project areas in 4-H ranging from Aerospace to Woodworking. 4-H'ers can work on animal projects ranging from large livestock such as beef to small pets such as fish. 4-H'ers can learn about science and technology as well as various environmental areas. There really is a project area for everyone.

The Cherokee County Fair in July is a chance for 4-H'ers to show off their accomplishments. While learning about a project area, the 4-H'er can create an exhibit to display at the fair. The exhibits in the two 4-H buildings and the animal barns show how much time and effort that our 4-H'ers have put into their project areas.

It is easy to become a 4-H member. Stop by the Cherokee County Extension Office at 209 Centennial Drive, Suite A, Cherokee or call us at (712)225-6196. We can give you a list of the Cherokee County 4-H Clubs and their leaders, as well as their meeting times. You can then call a leader of the club of your choice to learn more about their club. Once you have decided on a club, the leader will give you an enrollment form to fill out. You are now a 4-H member. Let the learning begin.

Joining 4-H involves a commitment of time and energy, not only for the youth, but also for the parents. However, 4-H is full of rewards and worth the time and energy spent. Rewards that can and will last a lifetime.

If you would like to know more about 4-H and the various 4-H programs available, contact Brenda Medick at the Cherokee County Extension Office at (712)225-6196.