GREENSBURG – With the target deadline of March 1 for 4-H enrollment, it may be nice to review all the wildly varied program options 4-H offers to local children.
According to 4-H extension educator Jeff Hermesch, 4-H is the only youth development program directly connected to the technological advances and latest research of Purdue University. Through the various 4-H programs, members learn leadership, citizenship and life skills though hands-on projects in science, engineering, technology and healthy living.
While 4-H may still have many agricultural and home economics types of projects, the organization is no longer just about “cows and plows.” There are many more kinds of projects available today, all of which focus on the previously mentioned life skills.
4-H members complete their projects and display them at the Decatur County Fair. Those that place high enough advance to the Indiana State Fair, which seems to be a common occurrence in Decatur County.
Animal-related projects one usually brings to mind when thinking of 4-H, such as beef, cats, dogs, goats, horses and ponies, poultry, rabbits, sheep and swine, are all still available. However, there are also a multitude of projects available in the fields of aerospace, arts and crafts, child development, computers, food preparation and preservation, photography, sewing, shooting sports, weather and many, many more categories.
Though the projects are a large focus on 4-H membership, the organization involves members in a variety of other activities as well. For example, 4-H camp, science workshops, and the 4-H Youth Roundup are all held at Purdue University’s campus, giving members a chance to experience 4-H activities away from home and with like-minded individuals. Other activities include judging contests in the fields of horse and pony, livestock, soils, forestry, crops, and entomology; community service projects; leadership workshops; trips to Washington D.C., as well as many other events.