4-H projects are a great way to learn by doing. They provide members the opportunity to learn physical, mental and social skills.
In addition, members gain knowledge about a specific discipline suitable for their age and experience. In order to complete a project, members must attend regular club meetings, community service events and participate in essential 4-H project activities. These essential activities are: performing a demonstration, completing a record book, participating in a 4-H interview, and exhibiting their project at the La Plata County Fair.
Demonstrations are planned presentations by a 4-H member that highlight knowledge gained about a project. They are a practical way for members to show and tell other members useful information about how to make or do something related to their project. This teaches members to organize their thoughts, express themselves clearly and practice speaking before an audience.
Completing a record book is a vital part of 4-H. Just like how adults keep track of financial and business matters to complete their taxes, 4-H record books develop this important life skill early. The record book is a great tool to improve accounting skills and communication in writing, and recognize life skills and goals learned and developed.
The 4-H interview is another real-life learning experience for members. It helps members prepare and analyze what they have learned in their project. Interviews require members to express to judges the successes and failures in their project. In addition, interviews build confidence in handling being asked tough questions regarding the project. These skills can help members when having to apply for future job opportunities.
The La Plata County Fair symbolizes the end of the county 4-H year. Members get the opportunity to exhibit their projects to the greater community. For general projects, this means showing off their project through a display and for livestock projects through showing in the ring. The fair is an opportunity for our youths to participate in a community event and celebrates the accomplishments each youngster has made.
A wide variety of projects are available in the 4-H program. Projects should be carefully chosen through help from parents and club leaders. This ensures that the participant understands the commitment needed to complete the project and has the greatest potential for success. It is advised to start small when choosing projects.
For instance, many of our members who are now showing beef cattle started with a poultry or rabbit project. Poultry and rabbits are a wonderful starting project for youths and their families. They teach the importance and responsibilities of raising an animal, however dont require the cost or space the larger animals need. In addition, these projects have the potential value-added incentive of producing meat and eggs.
To learn more about all the small and large livestock projects and all the great general projects (photography, robotics, cake decorating, etc.) please contact the extension office. Lastly, La Plata County 4-H is hosting a Rabbit Camp on March 11-13 at the fairgrounds to provide a wealth of information for people interested in rabbits.
email@example.com or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.