By Alicia Dziak
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, which fosters an innovative, “learn by doing” approach. Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four Hs in 4-H, and they represent the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.
The four Hs lend themselves to the 4-H pledge, “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world!”
4-Hers in Cattaraugus County have a busy summer ahead. It’s fair season, which means kids are making sure 4-H educational requirements are fulfilled. They’re also planning for their time at the Cattaraugus County Fair, being held this year July 29–Aug. 4.
In preparation for the fair, local 4-Hers are selling raffle tickets for two $100 gas cards. The drawing will be held on July 22 and tickets can be purchased from any area 4-H member or from the office at 28 Parkside Dr. in Ellicottville. Proceeds will go to the new 4-H snack stand at the Cattaraugus County Fair.
“We’re very excited about our new Snack Shack that will be at the fair this year,” said Krista Humbert, 4-H senior resource educator. “4-Hers will be manning the stand and proceeds will go toward our programs.”
The 4-H market sale, in which animals that 4-H participants have raised are sold for meat, will be held at the fair on Saturday, Aug. 3.
“The market sale gives 4-H kids an opportunity for showmanship in the ring and allows them to present a story about their experience raising that animal,” Humbert said.
Fair visitors can also look for senior 4-Hers dressed in green vests at the fair. They will be ready to answer your questions about the animals and about 4-H programs.
Although this time of year a lot of 4-H activity is focused on animals, there are many other opportunities for kids with other interests.
“In addition to animal 4-H groups, other 4-H groups are dedicated to focusing on things like crafts, science, technology and math,” explained Humbert. “We also offer programs such as bridge making clinics with engineers.”
In addition, new programs are always being developed based on the interests of members.The 4-H bridge making clinic was so successful this year, that Jacob Ploetz, a member of West Valley’s Clever Clover 4-H group, took first place for his bridge design in the 2013 Kenneth T. Rybarczyk Memorial Model Bridge contest held at the Wellsville Campus of Alfred State College in April.
“We’re currently looking for adult volunteers to help develop outdoor shooting sports programs,” said Humbert. “We’ve had a lot of interest and just need volunteers to make it happen. We’ll provide training.”
Cattaraugus County 4-H offers such diverse opportunities that there’s sure to be a group that’s a good fit for every youth. Children ages 5-7 are eligible for Cloverbuds, and children to young adults ages 8-19 are eligible for 4-H. New groups are currently being formed.
For more information about joining 4-H or to volunteer, contact Krista Humbert at (716) 699-2377, ext. 121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.