Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Greene County 4-H’ers Attend Summit and Celebrate 100 years of learning through Cooperative Extension

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102


COLUMBIA, Mo. – A.B. Burkhart, Taylor Groves and Lora Wright, all Greene County 4-H members, were among 140 youth and adults who participated in “Life is a Highway!” the 2014 Youth Civic Leaders Summit at Windermere Conference Center March 7-9.

The 4-H team was joined by teams from 15 other counties, as well as groups representing Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin 4-H.

Carroll County 4-H Teens served as youth hosts for the retreat, bringing history to life with Route 66 themed décor, snacks, and teambuilding activities.  Through a trivia challenge, Summit teams learned about the history and passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which formalized Cooperative Extension into a nationwide system, making 4-H and higher education accessible to youth across the United States.

During Friday and Saturday sessions, 4-H alumni were invited as guest speakers, presenting thought-provoking questions on topics ranging from agriculture, technology, and medicine, to education, leadership, and service.

Carrie Wolken, Missouri Dept. of Transportation Traffic and Safety Division Youth Coordinator, spoke with delegates about highway and driver safety issues.  Kevin Owen, Monsanto Company representative, shared how 4-H was a “highway” for his development as a young person, and continues to be through his involvement as a 4-H parent and supporter.

“It was fascinating to hear how much 4-H alumni still value the program and what it has done for their personal, professional, and civic lives, even years afterward,”  said Steve Henness, State 4-H Specialist.  “It really made the point that youth development is an investment in education, careers, and communities over the long term.  Life (in 4-H) is a highway, and we hope more young people experience the whole trip.”

On Saturday evening, Summiteers celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act with activities promoting citizenship and lifelong learning.  They donated over $220.00 to the Missouri 4-H Kids Helping Kids fund, voted on several ballot issues in a mock election, and learned about additional trip opportunities through 4-H.

Participants gained skills for successful work on teams, in careers, and in their communities through workshops presented by the Missouri College Advising Corps, Purdue 4-H Teens Teaching Biotechnology, Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors, and Wisconsin and Missouri 4-H teams.  Summiteers also honed their knowledge and skills with the EDGE challenge course, Bridal Cave Tour, line dancing, and team talent showcase emceed by Mizzou 4-H.

On Sunday, youth and adult teams created plans to implement 4-H “teens as teachers” projects in their communities during 2014.  With support from adults and opportunities to teach their peers about an issue or cause they care about, event organizers say youth can step into roles as community educators, change makers, and lifelong learners.

Missouri 4-H is University of Missouri Extension's youth development program. Studies show 4-H’ers have three times greater interest in science than non-4-H peers and are 70 percent more likely to go to college. Over 5,000 youth in urban communities join local 4-H clubs each year.

Residents of southwest Missouri can 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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