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Palo Alto County Celebrates National 4-H Week

By Staff | Oct 1, 2009

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has officially proclaimed Oct. 4-10, 2009, as 4-H Week in Iowa. The proclamation ties in with National 4-H Week activities in the state and throughout the country.

The theme for National 4-H Week is “Meet the Future,” said Julie Naig, County Youth Coordinator.

Palo Alto County plans to kick of National 4-H Week with their annual Penny Carnival to be held on Sunday, Oct. 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Exhibits Building on the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds in Emmetsburg.

4-H clubs in Palo Alto County will have booths that will provide various carnival games including prizes for all participants. A king and queen will be crowned. They will be selected from the junior 4-H members in attendance. The

4-H County Council members will also provide a concession stand and apply clover tattoos.

New members and their families are encouraged to attend and find out about the 4-H program. The public is also invited to join in on the fun and help celebrate the 4-H program.

4-Hers will also show their 4-H spirit by wearing 4-H T-shirts to school on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

In the Iowa proclamation, Culver said 4-H helps “youth and adults learn, grow and work together to live the 4-H motto: to make the best better.”

Other points of pride mentioned in the proclamation are the 125,000 youth participants, more than 11,000 adult volunteers and more than 100 different programs and projects made available to Iowa youth through Iowa State University Extension.

Culver also said, “I urge my fellow citizens to observe this week by connecting with youth, friends, fellow employees and relatives, and with school, community and civic groups to engage in projects benefiting their community.”

“Governor Culver’s proclamation is a great honor to the Iowa 4-H program,” said Chuck Morris, director of the Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development program. “Many 4-H projects and activities emphasize science, technology, leadership, citizenship, communication and the environment. Iowa youth also continue to participate in traditional 4-H projects such as livestock and gardening.”

For more information about 4-H, contact the Palo Alto County office of Iowa State University Extension, (712) 852-2865 or the state 4-H office at (515) 294-1017.

Here are more things to know about 4-H.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth organization, with 6 million participants. It is in all 99 Iowa counties, in all 50 states and in more than 80 countries. One quarter of Iowa’s young people are involved in 4-H.

4-H is a part of Cooperative Extension. 4-H takes research-based information from the nation’s land grant universities to youth in urban, small town and rural communities. In Iowa, 4-H is headquartered on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

4-H follows the philosophy of learning by doing. Youth develop life skills through hands-on projects that range from citizenship to expressive arts, communication to foods and nutrition, and leadership to science and technology.

4-H is for youth in grades 4 through 12. Youth can belong to 4-H individually or as members of clubs and groups. They can make new friends, visit new places, go on trips, attend workshops and conferences, host meetings and help their communities.

4-H uses a four-leaf clover for its emblem. Each leaf carries an H; the four H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The idea for the clover came from Clarion in Wright County, Iowa.

4-H annually displays youth exhibits at the Iowa State Fair. Nearly 4,000 youth exhibits are displayed in the 4-H Exhibits Building as well as some 3,000 4-H animal exhibits in the fair barns and show rings. 4-H’ers also give nearly 1,000 educational presentations, working exhibits, extemporaneous speeches and Share the Fun performances during the fair.

4-H partners with the Army Youth Development Project (AYDP). Together they serve children with parents in the military through Operation Military Kids (OMK).