4-H provides opportunities for youth development and for youth to develop skills, practical knowledge and wisdom through observing, doing and living through experiences.
For more than a century, 4-H has made a tremendous impact on many lives and has continued to expand programming and emphasizes the practical application of knowledge or learning by doing to develop skills and acquire a sense of responsibility, initiative and self-worth.
The educational foundation for the 4-H Youth Development Program lies in three areas that are tied to the land grant universities and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 4-H curriculum and activities engage youth in processes of discovery and exploration through hands-on learning.
For more than a century 4-H has been engaging youth through animal science projects, teaching youth the skills to take care of another living being through daily feeding, training and environmental security. Much of what 4-H’ers learn from raising animals is preparing them for real world life skills.
Beyond the barn and show ring, Animal Science project participation requires critical thinking, communication and preparation. Knowledge contests include skills identification, communication and knowledge bowl contests. Clinics and workshops to prepare youth for knowledge contests begin at the club and county level.
Since we are still in a virtual classroom entering the 2021 4-H year, local opportunities will be hosted via Zoom to engage youth in an opportunity to hone and refine their project knowledge and to expand their area of interest and learn about other animal project areas.
Beginning in late January, 4-H educators and volunteers will be hosting weekly 60-minute clinics to help youth learn more about knowledge bowls, communication (public speaking and presentation), judging and identification contests for dogs, horses, livestock (beef, goats, sheep and swine species) and small animals (rabbits and poultry).
For complete contest descriptions and information, you can visit our state 4-H website and look up Spring Classic information that details our state 4-H contests event descriptions and rules. The local contests follow the state contest rules and guidelines and utilize the same study materials and resources.
Normally these clinics and competitions are held in person at the local Extension Service; however, with COVID-19 restrictions we are excited to provide a virtual component to keep youth actively learning skills.
We invite all youth ages 9-19 to check our county website under events in mid-January to find more clinic and contest registration information. Youth interested in 4-H but not yet registered with a 4-H club are invited to investigate these learning opportunities.
Since its inception, 4-H has placed emphasis on the importance of young people being engaged; with today’s struggles for normalcy, this is an opportunity to recruit new 4-H members interested in learning about specific animal science projects and for returning members to keep practicing their skills.
More information about the local Douglas County 4-H program and upcoming events can be found at https://extension.oregonstate.edu/program/4h/douglas/events.