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Oct 28 2013

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4H: Equipping youth, building leaders

There are many well-known, popular clubs and organizations for us to get our children in for popularity purposes, and some develop leadership skills. There is one that many folks seem to be totally unaware of, or seem to overlook, and that is the 4-H Club in their area.

4-H is part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. 4-H began as a “Corn Club” for the youth of local farmers because the Extension Agent was having a hard time getting farmers to accept new ideas on the production of corn. The farmers agreed for their children to have one acre in the middle of their corn fields for the “agent to play in.” When the children’s harvest proved to be better than the farmer’s, they began to ask the child “what did that guy tell you to do last year?” This pattern was later followed with the Tomato

Canning Clubs to teach better ways of preserving foods. Today’s 4-H is only limited by the imagination of the youth and volunteer leaders. Yes, we have traditional community clubs for youth in the immediate area, project clubs such as shotgun, Archery, or Livestock; and SPIN Clubs (SPecial INterest) such as the Fuel Up to Play 60 Club and Junior Master Gardener group. Other possible topics could include cooking/ food clubs where healthy eating and living are learned, or photography and many other topics. 4-H youth learn leadership, self-confidence, critical thinking skills, and parenting skills through the management of their livestock and other projects. Let me share just one set of minutes from one of our eight (8) Gregg County 4-H Clubs.

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