Spring is always an exciting time of year.
Southwest Colorado’s weather has been predictable in its unpredictable manner. So, no matter if it is rain or shine, it’s time to get outside and start growing food.
The 4-H Giving Back Garden got into full swing this last weekend. It was great to see a big group of green thumbs out for our first day of planting at the Old Fort Market Gardens in Hesperus. Members of all ages and volunteer parents got down and dirty. We planted lots of potatoes, onions, cabbages and an assortment of greens.
This community engagement project teaches our 4-H members the values of hard work, healthy living and sharing our harvest. We will be donating vegetables to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Produce Bounty Program, Fresh Produce Manna Market Stand and the La Plata Family Center Coalition emergency food pantries in Durango and Bayfield. We also love to share with our friends in the Marvel and Breen areas who have been very supportive of our 4-H program. Please contact me if you or someone you know might also need some fresh local vegetables.
HHHWe will be planting seeds and growing food all season. However, the greatest thing we will be growing is character. 4-H parents, leaders, projects and programs have been planting the strongest seeds every season in our members. Spring is a great time to celebrate the growth in character that the 4-H program has instilled in our senior-level members.
It is my pleasure to be awarding seven $500 Higher Education Scholarships this year. These individuals have shown great dedication and commitment to their clubs and to our community. They have represented La Plata County 4-H well locally, regionally and nationally.
Breann Hawman is a member of the Mountaineers 4-H club. She will be attending Adams State University to study wildlife biology. “4-H has changed my life in so many ways, from public speaking to taking care of a show animal that relies on you for food, water and shelter,” Breann said.Harley Anstead has been in 4-H for 10 years. She is a member of the Pine River 4-H club and will be attending Lamar Community College in the fall. Harley said 4-H has “taught me about responsibility, better communication skills, and I have learned how to balance my finances.”Cara Kallaher is a member of the Animas Valley 4-H club. Cara has chosen to attend Middle Tennessee State University this fall. Cara passionately explained: “The 4-H community promotes good, wholesome values, which will stay with me for my entire life, and I believe that I am a better person simply because of that.”Dillon Flowers is a Rocky Mountain Rough Riders 4-H member. He will be attending Weber State University in Utah. Dillon said his 4-H experience “helped him learn not to give up, but to persevere through the rough times so you can reach your goals.”Keanna Smith is a member of the Mount Allison Go-Getters club. She is heading to Reno, Oklahoma, to attend Redlands Community College. “My 4-H experience has made me a better person by teaching me how to recognize my inner strengths, and by learning how to clearly express myself, it has enabled me to grow as person,” Keanna said.Tyllor Ledford is a nine-year member of the Weaselskins 4-H club. Tyllor is going to Texas Tech University. “4-H helped me realize that I want to help people and have the opportunity to impact someone’s life and make a difference, just like 4-H made a difference in my life,” Tyllor said.Mountain Shadows 4-H club member Stephenie Riegel will be choosing between a few schools in Kansas or Wyoming. However, wherever she goes, she will be on solid ground. “I know I have a higher understanding of managing money, record keeping and nutrition,” Stephenie said.Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463.