Youth in grades 1-12 are being sought for participation in the 2014 LaGrange County 4-H program. Students in elementary grades 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 is again available as a fast, secure and convenient option. Families have the choice of utilizing electronic enrollment and paying the per member state program fee from the convenience of home. Online enrollment can be accessed by visiting the Purdue Extension home page.
2013 marked the 108th year of the Indiana 4-H program. The 4-H program is one of the largest youth serving organizations in the world. During 2013, some 171,000 Hoosier youth have participated in its educational programs.
The LaGrange County 4-H program is beginning its 61st 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 has 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 2014 4-H program and the annual 4-H Fair, scheduled for July 5-12.
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, llama, 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.
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.
For more club, project, or enrollment information, contact the Purdue University Extension Office in LaGrange at 499-6334, or visit the 4-H development link on the Extension website at www.extension.purdue.edu/lagrange.