4-H or Farm Animals?

By Veronica Graham

Many people, when asked what 4-H is, immediately come to one conclusion: farm animals. Though much of 4-H is animal science and livestock, there is a world beyond these areas of focus that truly makes 4-H shine. 4-H is the largest youth development program in the nation. It focuses on teaching our children through hands-on learning and strives to make our youth productive and caring citizens. Under the large umbrella term 4-H, we find over 50 different curriculum and project areas ranging from public speaking to environmental science to green engineering. Projects serve more than one purpose; first children are learning a new specialty area, but they are also meeting new people and expanding their social skills. During school vacations, youth in our area can participate in day camps or attend overnight camps offered by 4-H. Some of the many topics explored during day camps include sewing, canning, soap making, robotics, and nutrition. Overnight camps that are held during the summer help our youth develop leadership skills as well as meet other young people in our area. So, though farm animals are a large part of what 4-H does, it is certainly not what defines this expansive organization.

If you are interested in joining 4-H, there are several clubs available locally. Some of these clubs include vet science, dog specialties, and archery. We are always looking for individuals willing to donate their time to become club leaders and start new 4-H clubs for our youth. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or starting a new club in a project area that has yet to be explored in our area, contact Veronica Graham at vgraham@co.okaloosa.fl.us or 850-689-5850.

The Foundation for the Gator Nation
An Equal Opportunity Institution

4-h article pic(1)

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