I really enjoy reading your continued great coverage of the area 4-H events. This year I especially enjoyed all the pictures and news about our county 4-H Fair in July, the updates about our outstanding youth receiving awards, and stories of other 4-H youth community activities.
October is also an important time to celebrate 4-H with National 4-H Week. 4-H families and new members will be signing up for the 2021 year. Information is available at our county Extension office, or online at 4-h.org.find.
Missouri 4-H reaches one in every five young people, ages 5 to 18. In fact, 4-H is the only youth organization in every county in the state and nation. 4-H youth are four times more likely to contribute to their communities than their peers. A recent survey of Missouri 4-Hers showed that 91% of Missouri 4-H youth like to learn about people who are different from them and 84% are helping others reach their goals. This year Missouri 4-H has stepped up with virtual programming to help fill gaps in education for our young people and help them connect with each other during this pandemic. There is a YouTube channel for Missouri 4-H as well as Zoom, FaceBook and other platforms. The QuaranTime programming this year had some 231,800 viewers.
4-H delivers on our promise to prepare young people for the 21st century workplace! The results are documented in a decade-long study by faculty at Tufts University, reporting that “kids in 4-H far outperform their non-4-H peers” in developing the skills, leadership and interest in science and science careers that will propel our nation’s future. In fact, 4-H’ers are more likely to pursue careers related to sciences (including ag-bioscience), engineering and technology because they spend more time engaging in science programming.
Projects in 4-H today are not just cows and cookies. Youth are learning about everything from computers, shooting sports, and rocketry, to crafts, small animals, and traditional agriculture related areas. Civic Engagement, Healthy Living, Agriculture, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are current 4-H Mandates as youth are being prepared to college and career readiness. Public speaking and leadership skills are part of the 4-H experience.
4-H has thousands of dedicated volunteers who devote their time to our youth.
Our community businesses are very good supporters of 4-H and we deeply appreciate the support of volunteers and businesses who help make our local 4-H programs so good. Across the state dedicated Extension staff support the 4-H programs and activities in every county and bring tools to local 4-H clubs, after school programs, and special interest groups who are part of the 4-H program.
I am proud to say 4-H made me who I am today with over 10 years of 4-H experiences in my youth. I continue to be a 4-H volunteer and support young people as they engage in 4-H projects, activities, and events. How wonderful it is to see them “learn by doing.” 4-H continues to teach life skills to our youth and raise future leaders for our communities.
Marla Tobin, MD
Missouri 4-H Foundation