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Open House set for Wednesday to explain 4-H, Extension Homemaker programs at the fairgrounds

Thursday, October 4, 2012

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Greene County's largest youth organization -- 4-H -- along with the Extension Homemakers Clubs will be showcased in an upcoming open house event Wednesday evening.

Purdue Extension Greene County, along with the 4-H Council and the Greene County PCARET, will host a Fall Open House at the Greene County Fairgrounds from 6-8:30 p.m.

The fairgrounds is located on State Road 54, about one mile east of Switz City.

4-H club leaders, along with Purdue Extension staff Lindy Miller, PhD. (County Extension Director, Extension Educator - Agriculture & Natural Resources), Malea Huffman (Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator), and Polly Gettinger (Extension Educator - Health and Human Sciences) will be on hand to answer questions.

There will be time to sign up for any of the more than 70 different 4-H projects, including many that do not involve farm-related activities.

4-H is open to any person who is between kindergarten through their senior year in high school.

4-H is a volunteer-based, informal educational program of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. It focuses on "learning by doing" and reaches boys and girls through small groups called clubs.

Purdue University, namely the School of Agriculture, is responsible for the 4-H program in every county. More specifically, the 4-H Youth Development Educator is responsible for the 4-H program in each county.

Some popular projects include: Photography, tractor driving, cupcake decorating, electricity, garden and herbs, genealogy, rifle, Fashion Revue and sport fishing along with beef, swine, sheep, horse and pony, dairy goats and meat goats.

The annual fair in July is the showcase for the youth 4-H projects.

Currently in Greene County there are about 500 regular members of 4-H and an additional 160 others enrolled in school 4-H enrichment programs.

Interestingly, 4-H is the only federally authorized and largest youth serving organization in the country.

4-H Clubs of Greene County, which operates the fair activities, is governed by a board of volunteers who represent each of the individual clubs.

Youth starting in Grades 3 may participate in one or more projects in the "traditional" or "classic" 4-H program. Many of the projects done in the "traditional" program have the potential of feeding into the Indiana State Fair, should their projects win the proper awards at the county fair.

"4-H starts in one's third-grade year, however, Greene County has a great Mini 4-H program starting in kindergarten," Huffman commented. "Learn about the opportunities that are available to students enrolled in 4-H for all 10 years at the open house."

Each of the leaves of the 4-H logo stands for an important education, moral and health principal that form the basis for the 4-H programming.

o HEAD -- Learning to think, making decisions, understanding the "why's", and gaining new and valuable knowledge.

o HEART -- Being concerned with the welfare of others, accepting the responsibilities of citizenship, determining values and attitudes by which to live, and learning how to work with others.

o HANDS -- Learning new skills, perfecting skills already known, and developing pride in work and respect for it.

o HEALTH -- Practicing healthful living, protecting the well-being of self and others, and making constructive use of leisure time.

There will also be information about the Open Class Fair, designed for those after the 4-H years and adults.

Open house attendees will also learn more about the citizen advocate association PCARET.

"The Purdue Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (PCARET) is a citizen advocate association on a county and state level that provides Purdue stakeholders the opportunity to develop and display leadership abilities in support of Purdue. Purdue provides these volunteers training and opportunities on the county, state and federal level to interact with government leaders telling the individual stories of how Purdue, especially through Extension, impact citizens in their local communities," Huffman explained. "PCARET has invited local and state candidates to attend (the open house).

"Please come to engage in the conversation on the importance of youth programming in our community."



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