Celebrate National 4-H Week

Area 4-H member Charlotte Murphy works on a pop can lamp during one of the organization’s projects.

By Darla Stevens
Mille Lacs County
4-H Coordinator

What do kids do in 4-H? 4-H has something for everyone! Youth can join 4-H in kindergarten through one year past high school and they can work on projects, perform community service, and develop leadership skills. 4-H offers a wide variety of project areas from science, engineering, and technology to citizenship and leadership, healthy living and animal science.

4-H isn’t just about agriculture anymore; youth can be involved in a wide variety of projects. They can still be a part of animals and livestock but some of the other large project areas are Photography, Crafts and Fine Arts, and Food and Nutrition.

In 2011, approximately 71,000 Minnesota youth participated in Extension Youth Development programs throughout the state!

No matter the project they choose, 4-H youth learn public speaking skills, how to collaborate, understand government and community, and how to develop and reach life and career goals. A study by Tufts University found that youth who participate in 4-H have better grades and are more emotionally engaged with school; are more than twice as likely to be civically active and contribute to their communities; are 47 percent less likely to have risky or problem behaviors.

Mille Lacs County 4-H

There are 11 clubs in Mille Lacs County and soon to be 12 clubs. The clubs are located throughout Mille Lacs County from Onamia to Princeton. There are around 400 youth 4-H members and almost 100 volunteers that make Mille Lacs County 4-H happen.

Mille Lacs County 4-H represented us well down at the State Fair this past year. We came back with many ribbons, plaques, and proud youth. The State Fair is like County Fair where the youth 4-H members are able to showcase their projects that did well at the County level and compete with others around the state.

This is a perfect time to join 4-H and joining 4-H can be done in two ways. You can come into the Mille Lacs County Extension Office which is located in the Mille Lacs County Historical Courthouse or you can enroll online at http://www1.extension.umn.edu/youth/mn4-h/. If you have questions, would like more information, or talk to someone about 4-H, please call 320-983-8317.

For full coverage, see the Thursday, Oct. 11 print edition of the Times.