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Agricultural Spotlight – 4H Kickoff Event

Tioga County gathers for 4H Kickoff Event at fairgrounds

 

by Melissa Bravo - March 25, 2016

“4-H is moving forward one hundred percent this year,” said Sasha Diederich, Tioga County 4-H Extension Educator. “Our programs are booming. We’ve had more interactions this year than ever,” She added, pointing to the crowded room full of 4-H exhibitors, their leaders, and parents. Clubs from all over Tioga County came together to celebrate 4-H Kickoff at the Whitneyville Fairgrounds on Sunday.

But it was the outpouring of community interest that made the day. “We see ripples from Kickoff all year long,” said Stacy Sexaur, Extension Secretary. More than fifteen families had stopped by her table to either sign up with a club or inquire about the process during the first half of Kickoff.

Watch today’s feature to find out more about the various clubs in Tioga County and how you can get involved! Concerned about the how the budget impasse in Harrisburg might impact our county 4-H programs? I talked with Extension Educator J. Craig Williams about the implications of the Governor’s line item veto, which could shut down 4-H and Penn State Extension this year. See the video feature for more details.

So, just what is 4-H?

Anyone from the age of eight on up to 18 can join 4-H. Have children even younger? Age’s five to seven can join a Clover Club as a ‘cloverbud’. Kids can enroll in traditional 4-H clubs like livestock, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, horses, sewing and cooking. But there is so much more to do in 4-H. Projects can include woodcraft, photography, forestry, hiking and biking, crafts, and even gardening. You name it, and there is probably a 4-H project book available. The very first 4-H club in 1902, by the way, was a tomato growing club in Clarks County, Ohio.

Since its inception, youth have had the opportunity to learn public speaking and interact with 4-H’ers through club activities from other school districts, states and even via international connections.Want to try more than one project? You can! 4-H projects are age appropriate. The scope of the projects evolves over time from beginner to advanced levels. Imagine what you can learn and do in ten years if you have the mind too?

4-H clubs, leaders, and educators gather and meet to engage “youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development” and since its inception in 1902, the goal of 4-H is hands on learning.

How?

By pledging “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”. A pledge I have lived by since my first year in 4-H, right here in Tioga County – and I am not alone. Millions of people throughout the world have memorized that pledge since it was first composed in 1918.

Many, to this day, will testify that what they learned in 4-H has molded them into “the best that they can be”. In fact, the motto “to make the best better” echoed through the halls of our state capitol this month when hundreds of 4-H’ers, parent’s, and leaders headed to Harrisburg to protest the state budget crisis that threatens to stop funding 4-H entirely.

“If you are ready to jump into your 4-H adventure here in Tioga County, Pennsylvania contact Sasha Diederich at the 4-H office located in the basement of the Courthouse, Main Street, Wellsboro. Or by calling 570-724-9120.

Credits:

Writing: N/A

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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