4-H begins fall recruiting period

Published 8:23 pm Monday, September 27, 2010

Being back in school isn’t the only thing that’s got young people busy at this time of the year. It’s also the time where students enroll in local 4-H clubs all across the nation.

The 4-H club is the nation’s largest youth organization with more the 6 million members nationally. Pike County can boast 1,500 of those.

“We have a large 4-H membership for a county of our size,” said Kristie Freeman, Pike County 4-H agent assistant. “Students can join 4-H in the fourth grade and we have clubs in grades four through 12 in the county, city and private schools. Our clubs are very active and our Extension staff and adult volunteers are dedicated to the goal of 4-H, which is to empower youth to reach their potential.”

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In Alabama, more than 65,000 youth are involved in the 4-H and Alabama Cooperative Extension System agents and volunteer leaders provide a wide range of educational programs.

“Fall is the most popular time to enroll in 4-H, however, you can enroll at any time,” Freeman said. “Young people can be in as many 4-H clubs as they choose. In-school club membership is not required to be a member of a special interest club.”

The Pike County 4-H clubs have many activity and event choices for students.

“We have everything from cooking, sewing, beef, horse, robotics and shooting sports clubs to one-time events such as workshops and field days,” Freeman said.

The Pike County 4-H clubs are gearing up now for National 4-H Week Oct. 3-9 and will get a jump on the celebration with a local event on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Tractor Supply in Troy.

“We will have an antique tractor show and show calf demonstration,” Freeman said. “We are inviting all of those who have antique tractors to participate. We also have a two 4-H’ers who will show their heifers and talk about what they have to do to prepare for the annual Pike County Steer and Heifer show in the spring.”

Freeman said the antique tractor show and calf demonstration are just a couple of the many “extra” opportunities that 4-H presents each year.

“Any students that have not enrolled in 4-H and want to take advantage of the many opportunities that it presents are encouraged to do so,” Freeman said. “We always welcome more students into the club.”

In addition to club meetings, 4-H’ers can take part in a wide variety of activities offered by the community, county and state including workshops, achievement programs, camps, tours and competitive events.

There are also national trips for youths who excel in leadership and citizenship skills, including Citizenship Washington Focus, National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference.

For more information about the 4-H Clubs of Pike County, call the Pike County Extension Office at 566-0985.