If you live in the country, you’ve probably been acquainted with a lot of things that represent the typical country lifestyle: tractors on the roads, dogs barking and cows mooing in the distance, and the miles of space between neighbors that sprout crops of corn, beans, and wheat. There is something deeper about living in the country, that brings a certain charm and sense of community..
Near and dear to both country and city life is 4-H. Many country kids take livestock or animals and participate or children join to showcase their arts and creative sides, but some join just for the sense of community. And, as a community, 4-H is strong with a memorable past: some clubs stretch on for decades, with members from the same families. Relationships are built and molded, children grow up, and a strong bond of community and showmanship is built.
Relationships, connections and skills
4-H has many benefits, none more special than the relationships, connections, and skills developed while in the program. A global network of youth organizations, 4-H branches out to engage and interact with youth so they can develop to meet their fullest potential and add to their motto of “making the best better.” With their commitment to the four H’s — “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health” — youth in the program also strive to create clearer thinking, loyalty, service, and a better lifestyle. Skills are developed and fostered in the program.
The 4-H organization has been influencing and helping youth since the nineteenth century and continues to foster over 200,000 youth every year. Though the program stretches from kindergarten to age nineteen, the values and programs develop lifelong skills and a hunger for knowledge. A variety of skills can be developed and enhanced through 4-H: leadership, communication, collaboration, school-based topics like math and science, self-confidence, public speaking, creative skills like art and writing, and animal science or care are only a few.
Experience through projects
4-H runs on a system of projects. Each year the 4-Her picks any number of projects which range from daily tasks like cooking and laundry to the arts and sciences. Projects are completed over the 4-H year which culminates in a judging during the summer. They’re graded with A through C ribbons, and if they rank the top spot in their project, they get a free day at the Ohio State Fair to compete there as well. Not only do they learn valuable skills and gain a great community during this process, but they also have the opportunity to compete and win trophies and prizes.
Hancock County Extension Office
7868 County Road 140 Suite B
419-422-3851 | hancock.osu.edu