For nearly a century, young people have been pledging their “head, heart, hands and health” to clear thinking, loyalty, service and good living in Club meetings all over the country. Administered by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the mission of 4-H is to engage youth to reach their full potential. Traditionally, it has been known as an organization that serves kids in rural areas, but you don’t have to live on a farm to join and participate. 4-H is open to all youth ages 9 to 19, with special “Cloverbud” programs available for ages 5 to 8. In our region 4-H is sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and offers more than 150 projects to choose from, like taking responsibility for animals, raising plants, exploring Nature, developing leadership skills, developing public speaking skills, learning photography, sewing and much more.
At this year’s Fall Festival, which is open to the public at no charge, young people and adults can enter the “Landscape Photography Open Show” or the “Gory Gourd” Contest or the Baked Goods contest. Contest rules are available online under the 4-H Youth Development section, or at the 4-H office located at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County at 10 Westbrook Lane in Kingston. There will be games and activities for all ages, plus a special 4-H snack bar, milkshake booth and bake sale to stave off the munchies. All proceeds benefit 4-H youth programs in Ulster County.
In 4-H, kids learn by doing, are recognized for their achievements and have lots of fun together. Parents can learn about 4-H and how your children can participate in the programs by contacting the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County at (845) 340-3990 or visiting www.cceulster.org.