AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa 4-H Foundation awarded a $1,500 grant to Traci Haselhuhn, program specialist at the Iowa 4-H Center, to help assist in funding for agriculture-based state 4-H camp programs.
Approximately 60 youth will travel to the Iowa 4-H Center this summer to attend one of two agriculture-based camps being offered for the first time. Farm Camp will be offered June 19 to June 25 and July 17 to 23 for 8 to 10-year-olds who want to learn more about animals. Youth will have the opportunity to take care of kittens, rabbits, goats, chickens, calves, sheep and miniature horses. Children will sleep in tents at a new farm site and learn to cook meals over the campfire. Campers also will have the opportunity to swim, garden and make crafts.
"We get a lot of campers who aren't 4-H members and who are from Des Moines and other large towns and who don't come from traditional farming backgrounds," Haselhuhn said. "It's a nice chance to expose campers to different kinds of activities."
A farm safety camp called Campers, Start Your Tractors, will be offered from June 12 to 17 for 13 to 16-year-olds who want to complete a tractor safety training course. Youth will complete 24 hours of tractor safety training and visit the Iowa State University Agronomy Farm for driving lessons on ATV, skid loaders, combines, tractors and wagons. Campers will take written and skill tests to receive certificates. Participants will also enjoy a canoe trip, pizza party, overnight camping trip, climbing tower, high ropes and swimming.
"Different counties tried the tractor safety course, but it was hard to do locally because it is volunteer and time intensive and only a few people signed up," Haselhuhn said. "We received a really good response from people who want to sign up to take the tractor safety course while participating in other fun camp activities at the Iowa 4-H Center."
The grant money will be used for field trip transportation during both camps. It also will be used to feed and construct living space for livestock at Farm Camp, and cover the costs of educational materials and volunteer instructors to train campers on different equipment at the farm safety camp.
"As our society becomes more technology based, it becomes easy to forget how important agriculture really is," Haselhuhn said. "Agriculture is such a tradition in our state that it is great we can have these camps to keep the spirit of agriculture alive in Iowa."
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship provided $25,000 in funding for grants this year.
Carol Ouverson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9640, firstname.lastname@example.org