(Posted March 3, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For Kirsten Holt, Madison County’s 4-H Extension educator, this past year has been all about making connections.
“I wanted to build relationships with the community, the 4-H Advisory Commit-tee, Junior Fair Board, Senior Fair Board and the livestock sale committee because we all come together for the fair,” she said, noting that she is now one of the three Junior Fair Board coordinators.
Key leaders—volunteers who oversee 4-H project areas—are now more involved with Junior Fair Board meetings.
“They’re becoming a close-knit group. They’re getting a lot done and working well together,” Holt said.
She’s also made inroads at area schools, where she hopes to see 4-H curriculum benefit students.
“We have parents who are teachers and principals who know the value of 4-H. 4-H can really complement what’s going on in the classroom,” Holt said.
Moving forward, she wants to increase the number of teens who serve as 4-H camp counselors and Junior Fair Board members. The challenge is to make them aware of the opportunities and what they entail.
“I would like to see more teens involved in those leadership roles,” she said.
Holt also has laid the groundwork for Teen Teachers, a program through which 4-H and FFA members deliver agriculture-based enrichment programs to elementary school students. So far, she has been in talks with Madison-Plains Local Schools, London Local Schools, and Tolles Career and Technical Center.
The Madison County 4-H program serves 800 youths, ages 8 to 19, and administers a Cloverbud program for children ages 5 to 8. 4-H encourages youth to learn by doing and provides them with opportunities to hone skills in leadership, citizenship, and public speaking. To learn more, call the Madison County OSU Extension Office at (740) 852-0975.
March 15: Deadline to enroll in 4-H
Madison County’s annual 4-H enrollment is due by March 15 for youths to be eligible for county fair participation.
Membership for the 4-H club program begins when a child is at least 8 years old and enrolled in third grade as of Jan. 1 of the current year. Ohio 4-H membership eligibility ends Dec. 31 of the year in which an individual attains the age of 19.
The member enrollment activity fee is $15. Most project books are $6. Any additional expense depends on the requirements of the project(s) selected and is the responsibility of the member.
4-H’ers can choose from a list of over 200 projects. Fishing, robotics, welding, rocketry, cooking, garden-ing, scrapbooking, bicycles, creative writing, lambs, dogs and cats are just some of the possibilities.
4-H also has opportunities for youths ages 5-8 through the Cloverbud program. Membership eligi-bility for Cloverbuds begins when a child has reached 5 years old and is enrolled in kindergarten as of Jan. 1 of the current year.
There is no activity fee for Cloverbuds. The program is activity-based, using a variety of short-term experiences to create a positive, fun approach to learning. The focus is to promote confidence by emphasizing success.
To contact a Madison County 4-H club near you, contact OSU Extension, Madison County, at (740) 852-0975 or visit madison.osu.edu.
4-H Week window displays
Ohio and Madison County 4-H Week is March 5-11. Many 4-H clubs promote 4-H by decorating business windows in their local communities.
This year’s theme is “All American Flare at the Madison County Fair.” Club windows displays must follow the theme and include the club’s name, members’ names, and the 4-H clover, pledge and motto.
Clubs not only have an opportunity promote 4-H, but also enter their displays in the window decorating contest.
The 4-H Advisory Committee offers cash voucher prizes to the top three displays: first place, $50, second place, $25, and third place, $10. The vouchers can be used toward the purchase of 4-H members’ books.
Clubs promoting 4-H around Madison County are: Double L II at West Jefferson Hardware, 228 E. Main St.; Exclusively Equine, Canaan Pathfinders and Fairfield Rascals at Mabe’s, 18 S. Main St, London; Mud Run Hustlers at the Tri-County fire station, 7 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling; and Town & Country Farmers at Chevron Pools & Spas, 48 E. Main St., West Jefferson.