National 4-H Week is a time set aside to recognize the opportunities available for youth through 4-H. Buena Vista County 4-H is an educational program that actively involves youth in grades 4-12. The 4-H program was founded in the State of Iowa in 1902 and is under the direction of Iowa State University Extension.
The widely recognized 4-H Clover with H's on each leaf stand for:
*Head - clearer thinking and decision-making, knowledge useful throughout life.
*Heart - greater loyalty, strong personal values, positive self-concept, concern for others.
*Hands - larger service, workforce preparedness, useful skills, science and technology literacy.
*Health - better living and healthy lifestyles.
Volunteer adults serve as 4-H club leaders and are considered as volunteer educators of Iowa State University. Through the county Extension Office, leaders have access to University research and information. Volunteer leaders encourage youth to: gain knowledge and practical life skills, to work together as a team, learn and practice decision-making, develop effective communication and public speaking skills, learn and practice leadership skills, appreciate and understand their community through service projects and apply these newly developed skills to various areas of project work.
There are more than 47 different project areas for 4-H'ers to explore. They include aerospace, astronomy, automotive, beef, bicycle, camping, cat, clothing, computers, consumer management, crop production, dairy, dog, electricity, entomology, environment, fishing, food and nutrition, forestry, gardening, gerbil, goat, health, horse and pony, home improvement, horticulture, leadership, music, pets (bird, fish, gerbil/hamster, guinea pig), photography, plant science, poultry, rabbit, rocketry, safety, self-determined, sheep, swine, small engine, sport fishing, theatre, tractor, veterinary science, visual art, welding, woodworking and wildlife.
By the above list of project areas, it is easy to dispel the myth that a 4-H'er has to live in the country, show livestock or attend a fair to be in 4-H.
Buena Vista County 4-H offers project workshops, a 4-H newsletter, project literature, 4-H awards, community service opportunities, county youth council, club officer training, special events and camps, the county fair, dog obedience, and livestock judging clinics and contests.
State and national 4-H opportunities include the Citizenship Washington Focus Trip, the Iowa Youth Tech Team, State and National Youth Council, State 4-H camps, State Conference and Round-Up, National Conference and Congress, Iowa State Fair, College Scholarships, Livestock Judging Contests, Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Show, and an International Exchange Opportunity.
For more information about becoming a member of the largest youth development in the United States, contact the Buena Vista County Extension Office at 732-5056.