4-H rewards participation with prizes

Tabitha Fleming
Staff Writer

County Extension Agent Alesha Ward, has a very important message for local parents and more importantly area youth. “This year we have 4H excellence awards. If 4H members do just three things: Participate in fundraisers, compete in a district 4H event either in the fall or spring, and complete a 4-H record book they get to choose one of three great prizes.” The prizes she mentions have definitely been on more than a few young persons wish list, to choose from there is an iPad mini, FitBit Charge, Mooremaker pocket knife, or a Vera Bradley dufflebag.
In addition to a prize, 4-Hers also get the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and challenge themselves in new ways. Whether it be learning the care, feeding and eventual showing of livestock, or the choosing of quilt patterns and cutting individual blocks. 4H has something for everyone. “We have shooting sports, food and nutrition, we have arts and almost anything that piques the interest. We even have nights for parents to come together a complete a fun craft or try a new recipe.”
Ward's focus is in the food and nutrition portions of 4H and we aren't just talking a basic cooking class where the final result is lopsided muffins. Today the 4-H members get to compete in food-network-esque competitions and gain knowledge not only about preparing food safely, but also about the nutritional content. Ward recently took a team of 4Hers to the Tri-State Fair where they competed in a Food Fight competition. “They had a great time, and learned a lot. This was their first competition as a team,” she said, “they're definitely really pumped to do this in the fall roundup in November, where they can all still be on the same team.”
There's still time for area kids to join 4-H and enrich their daily lives (plus get an excellence award of their choice) according to Ward. “It's not too late to join 4H, and if you join before the end of September the cost is only $25,” she says. To find out more, call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 806-878-4026 or visit http://hutchinson.agrilife.org