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Iowa State University Extension

Iowa youth say celebrate 4-H all year long

4-H is blooming with opportunities

Gov. Chet Culver officially proclaimed Oct. 5-11, 2008, as National 4-H Week in Iowa, and Iowa youth agreed with that endorsement. However, they’ll gladly tell you why they not only celebrate National 4-H Week, but also participate in the program all year long.

4-H is blooming with opportunities, as Kayla Wiley’s Iowa State Fair poster exhibit proclaims. “I also choose to participate to build my leadership, decision-making, goal setting and communication skills,” the Black Hawk County 4-H’er said.

“I love the 4-H program because there is something for everyone,” said Donovan Richardson, 17, Union County. “There is such a wide variety of project areas — everything from aerospace to food and nutrition to music.”

“My experiences have taught me that learning a new skill is beneficial, but taking the opportunity to communicate it well for the benefit of others is what makes you successful,” said Clinton County 4-H’er Michelle Eberhart. “Today’s youth face many challenges each day that could prevent them from reaching their full potential.  My goal is to teach critical life skills by being a positive role model and demonstrating compassion and caring.”

Jackson County 4-H’er Kaitlin Kilburg, 17, said, “I knew I would gain valuable leadership skills that would help me be successful at school, in my community and any future endeavors. I knew 4-H would also provide me with the opportunity to build my self-confidence.”

Added Kyzer Moore, 13, Jones County, “I like to volunteer my time, work with other people in the community and my club, mentor younger kids and meet-up with friends.”

Hancock County 4-H’er Ellen Bertilson, 15, summed it up: “While being a 4-H member, I have become a better leader, better listener, better speaker and overall, just a better person.”

To join 4-H, contact your ISU Extension county office.

This article appeared in October 2008 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter