Children in grades 1-12 are being sought for participation in the 2013 LaGrange County 4-H program.
Students in county elementary schools have been receiving enrollment information through their local schools. Enrollment materials are also available to junior and senior high students through their school offices. Electronic enrollment was introduced last year and is once again a fast, secure and convenient option. Families have the option of utilizing electronic enrollment and paying the per member state program fee from the comfort of home this year. Online enrollment can be accessed by visiting the Purdue Extension home page.
2012 marked the 107th year of the Indiana 4-H program. Many events commemorated this milestone, including 4-H alumni recognition, county specific programs, and continuing renovations to the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The 4-H program is one of the largest youth serving organizations in the world. During 2012, some 200,000 Hoosier youth have participated in its educational programs.
The LaGrange County 4-H program is beginning its 60th year of incorporation and, along with the 4-H Fair, has seen significant change in the past decade. With both public and private financial support, the fairgrounds have received needed upgrades, a website and social media communication have been refined, and entertainment, educational events and new 4-H projects have been added. Collaborating with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service office, the 4-H Club Association’s 30 volunteer directors are currently developing plans for the 2013 4-H program and the annual LaGrange County 4-H Fair, scheduled for July 6-13.
Through informal education, 4-H is a voluntary youth development program designed to address the interests of boys and girls through the provision of contemporary as well as traditional projects. Some of the newer projects include computers, consumer clothing, creative writing, reading, recycling, scrapbook, shooting sports education, and sports. There are still many projects available for traditional 4-H enthusiasts including foods, sewing, and animal husbandry. Returning in 2013 will be the 4-H Llama project featuring llamas and alpacas.
4-H is open to all age eligible youth regardless of race, ethnicity, residency, religion, socioeconomic status, or disability. This year a statewide fee will be required youth in grades 3-12 to enroll in 4-H in LaGrange County.
4-H also offers educational programming for first and second grade children through its Mini or Future 4-H groups and events. Future 4-H is designed to provide younger students with simple, hands on learning opportunities in a non-competitive atmosphere. Future 4-H remains a free program for first and second grade students.
Last year some 1,300 LaGrange County youth participated in 4-H programs through traditional club and project work, events on the Purdue campus, local and classroom enrichment activities, and countywide career development programs in collaboration with area FFA groups. The 4-H program is volunteer-based. Adult leaders and parents offer their time and talents to assist youth in reaching their fullest potential through practical experience with hands-on projects, leadership development, and community service.
Some projects and clubs, such as 4-H ATV, Beef and Market Dairy cattle, and Shooting Sports Education conduct activities earlier in the new year. First year youth in particular are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible for inclusion on club mailing lists and newsletters. To obtain additional club, project, or enrollment information, contact the Purdue University Extension Office in LaGrange at 499-6334, or visit the 4-H development link on Extension’s website at www. extension.purdue.edu/lagrange.