Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 28, 2014

4-H target deadline set for March 1

By Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — 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.

All across Decatur County, there are several 4-H clubs that meet on a regular basis, allowing youth to learn more about their projects, make new friends and develop leadership skills. Some of these clubs have been active for more than 50 years, offering a wealth of knowledge and experience to new members.

Regular 4-H members are in grades 3 through 12 and membership is $20 for the entire year. The Clover Bud or “Mini 4-H” program is designed for children in preschool (age 4) through second grade and costs $5 for the year.

The enrollment deadline is March 1. Potential members are encouraged to enroll early in order to enjoy the complete 4-H experience. Many clubs and activities are already becoming active. Early enrollment will ensure that members do not miss any important information or activities.

Enrollment forms will be accepted until March 15, but potential members are cautioned that late enrollment could mean missing out on trips, club meetings, workshops or many other events. To make sure nothing important is missed, stop by the Extension Office at the Decatur County Fairgrounds to pick up an application today.

For more information about 4-H, please contact the Decatur County Extension Office at 812-663-8388. Information is also available through Twitter at “@DecaturCo4H” or Facebook at “Purdue Extension Decatur County 4-H.”

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004; Amanda.browning@greensburgdailynews.com