4-H is far more than a ‘rural’ program | TheUnion.com

4-H is far more than a ‘rural’ program

For than more than 100 years, 4-H has been a cornerstone organization for American youth. While, as a community, we’re committed to our farms, ranches, our livestock, and our way of life, we’re even more committed to raising responsible, caring members of society.

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills as they work in partnership with caring adults. What does that mean? In 4-H, we are committed to helping young people develop skills that will help them succeed. We want to empower all youth to reach their full potential.

4-H, as a whole is a learning block for our local youth, not only as animal raisers, which is what most of us think it is all about. But it also teaches our youth to use their heads for more clear thinking, their hearts to greater loyalties, the hands for larger service and their health for better living … this is part of the 4-H motto that is said at all meetings and events that are held. I think everyone’s misconception about 4-H is that it is a “rural” program. Nothing is further from the truth.

It is a community of able adults willing to help the youth of Nevada County learn skills that are absolutely about life. We are taught at an early age that not all things are handed to us and we must learn to work for them.

It is a community of able adults willing to help the youth of Nevada County learn skills that are absolutely about life. We are taught at an early age that not all things are handed to us and we must learn to work for them.

This last year we had 480 youth and 160 adults enrolled in 4-H. Now, just to let you know, most of the adults not only have children in 4-H but also in other organizations in Nevada County. They are great volunteers that help the youth learn skills that carry them through all of life’s challenges.

It has amazed me in the last two years the amount of learning our local youth learn not only about their 4-H projects, but also about life. The model of learning by doing has been working for this organization for 100 years and is still going strong. I have met young adults the last two years, who have told me that what they learned from being a part of 4-H and other groups like, FFA, have taught them skills that helped them in interviews with job applications and landed them their current positions. It also helped them learn to speak and address people articulately.

There are many clubs that still remain and there are also a few in the past years that have dissolved. The local community clubs that meet once a month are: Grass Valley, Kentucky Flat, Penn Valley, Clear Creek, Misty Mountain, Cool Hollow, Meadowlarks and Chicago Park, with the oldest in our community being Chicago Park.

Since then there has been many clubs through the years. As we start a new year in 4H, we will also be starting off with a new council president and secretary. Lora Willis was elected for Council president at the May meeting, taking over for April Reese. Sarah Berg will be taking over as Secretary for Jane Dettner. Each is a two year term. The vice-president is Joe Lester and Treasurer is Tammy McFarland.

You can enroll online at ucanr.edu/sites/nevadacounty4h. Youth are $34 a year and adult volunteers are $12 a year. It has been a great learning experience for me and my family and I have a few years left as being a volunteer.

So, stop by the Open house in 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Veterans Hall on South Auburn Street in Grass Valley, which will be followed by our monthly council meeting. It is a great group of people that help our youth of Nevada County and it was an honor to have been the council president.

Here is to the many successes and experiences that our youth have each and every year.

April Reese lives in Nevada County.

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