Friday, October 11, 2013

Now is the Time to Join 4-H in Missouri

Contact: Jeremy Elliott-Engel, 4-H Youth Development Specialist
Headquartered in Newton County
Tel: (417) 455-9500

NEOSHO, Mo. -- Open enrollment for 4-H clubs in Missouri is underway now and runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, 2013.

As the largest out-of-school youth organization in the world, 4-H is open to all boys and girls, ages 5 to18. Children who are five to seven years old (by Dec. 2010) are eligible for 4-H Clover Kids, an introductory program.

Youth who are 8 to 18 years of age (by Dec. 31, 2010) can select from a variety of 4-H projects and activities. Most of the options stress social and life skills in areas like decision making, communication, social interaction, civic responsibility and physical skills.

“You do not have to live on a farm to join 4-H,” said Velynda Cameron, a 4-H youth development specialist in Polk County with University of Missouri Extension. “Project opportunities include computers, robotics, foods and nutrition, horticulture, large and small animals and much more.”

“Agriculture continues to be a strong project area for members in Barry County 4-H with many of the top projects being all in the livestock areas, like beef, market goats and poultry,” said Jeremy Elliott-Engel, a 4-H youth development specialist with MU Extension headquartered in Newton County.

New in Barry County this year is the Shooting Sports project, leaders are certified in smallbore rifles (.22 caliber) and will start practicing in early spring.  Youth are trained in gun safety and precision shooting skills.  Competitions happen at the county, regional, state and national levels.

“We know that active youth enrolled in 4-H are more likely to go to and successfully complete college education, and, are more likely to return and contribute positively to their home communities,” said Elliott-Engel.

Missouri 4-H is University of Missouri Extension's youth development program. The program is designed to help to create opportunities for young people to be valued, contributing members of their community. There are opportunities for adults to volunteer and for parents to be involved with their children at all levels of the 4-H program.

Residents of southwest Missouri contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists for  information: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.


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