Head, Heart, Hands, & HealthFriday, November 06, 2009 By Srs. Josh Villanueva & Stephanie Gebben
I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEATLH to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world. That is the 4-h pledge. 4-h is designed to help kids explore new ideas, experience new opportunities, make new friendships, and build skills to help them achieve. 4-h is for children and teen’s ages 5 to 19, and adults 19 and over are encouraged to volunteer. Children ages 5 to 9 cannot compete in 4-h premium (money awarded to participant for competing) events, but can compete in open events. For kids 4-h offers fun learning opportunities. For older teens it offers opportunities to set goals, develop strategies, and take leadership sharing their skills. 4-h programs are offered in all of Michigan’s 83 counties, involving nearly 250,000 youth. Anyone and everyone are encouraged to participate in 4-h, whether you live in the city, or on a farm. 4-h took its beginning in Iowa and Ohio when school educators connected with agricultural colleges to teach young farm children the basics of home and farm management. Michigan joined in six years later; starting boys corn clubs in Muskegon and Mason counties. The Michigan Legislature was debating whether to cut all funding to MSU extension which funds 4-h, and the MSU agriculture programs. Without the states funding there will be no vet or agriculture college, and no 4-h. It has been reported that Governor Granholm has signed the bill for higher education, leaving the budget set for MSU extension alone, allowing activities like 4-h to continue. Sr. Amanda Haveman is happy that the 4-h budget is intact. Haveman quoted “I enjoy 4-h because I have a lot of freedom to make my own decisions on thing like what animals I show and stuff. Also, I’ve made great friends and a ton of memories from fair and other 4-h activities.” Participants are provided with a variety of learning materials, different events and training in a variety of program areas. The opportunities for 4-h involvement are restricted only by a participants interests and imaginations. Members can participant in an unlimited amount of areas which include but are not limited to: dairy cattle, goats, horses and ponies, livestock, rabbits, dogs, cats, poultry, visual arts, performing arts, sewing, crafts, demonstrations, gardening, and career education. If you would like to get involved in 4-h contact you local 4-h office. The cost to get involved is just ten dollars, which is sometimes paid for by the club. Call the Ottawa County MSU extension at (616) 994-4580, or visit them at 12220 Fillmore Street, located by the Ottawa County Jail. Michigan State University Extension MSU, 1999. Web. 3 Nov. 2009 .