Laura Allen: Getting Involved in 4-H
Posted 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2022
by Laura Allen
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
I recently received several emails from parents about getting their children involved in 4-H. Let’s talk about the process and some of the upcoming opportunities available through Rowan County 4-H!
First of all, what is 4-H? 4-H is Cooperative Extension’s dynamic and educational youth program. 4-H has about 6 million youth members across the country. The name 4-H is summed up as the fourfold development of youth through Head, Heart, Hands and Health. In 4-H, youth complete hands-on projects in areas such as health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. The group is open to young people between 5 and 18 years old (from January 1).
If your child meets the age requirements for 4-H, go to v2.4honline.com to enroll them in 4-H. You will need to create a family profile and then add each child in your family as a member. You will be asked questions about emergency contact information, health information, and more so that we have all the information we need in case of an emergency. You’ll also need to choose a 4-H club to join and a project area that interests your child.
4-H in North Carolina runs on the calendar year, so your child’s registration is good through December 31st. Every year in January, youth must re-enroll in 4-H through 4-HOnline (this process is much easier and less time consuming than when they first signed up).
Once your child is enrolled and approved, they are eligible to participate in the 4-H opportunities our county offers! Here are some current opportunities:
- 4-H Clubs: Rowan County 4-H currently has five 4-H clubs in the county. They are run by 4-H volunteers who are registered, verified, and trained. We have wonderful 4-H volunteers in our county and they spend much of their time helping 4-H learn, grow and succeed. There are two 4-H clubs that still have room for more members: Happy Trails 4-H Club (focuses on horses) and West Rowan 4-H Explorers 4-H Club (focuses on many issues). The other three 4-H clubs in our county are already full for 2022 with waiting lists; two of these clubs focus on shooting sports and one on cooking. Descriptions of all these clubs can be found on our website at: https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/rowan-county-4-h-clubs/. You can join a 4-H club at any time!
- Egg-Cellent Egg Contest: If your child has chickens and they are laying well, this is a contest for you! This state contest requires pre-registration, a $15 registration fee, two Zoom trainings, judging egg submissions, and a companion project. Registration ends September 9, so you should sign up for 4-H (if you’re not already a member) and then sign up for the contest soon. This is a great contest for beginners and experienced 4-H’ers alike to enter. All details about this contest can be easily found on the home page of our County Extension website at rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.
- North Carolina State Fair 4-H Tickets: If your child is talented in the areas of arts and crafts, photography, or entomology, then this opportunity may be of interest to you. The deadline to register is September 15. 4-H’er registrations are due at the Rowan Extension office by 5 pm on September 30th. A Rowan County 4-H volunteer will bring all entries to Raleigh for the competition and you will receive all items back at the end of the fair. All details can be found on our website at https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/2022/08/4-h-arts-crafts-competitions-at-the-nc-state-fair/.
- More opportunities are coming this fall and more details about them will be released soon. These include a Pumpkin Decorating Contest, a “Casserole Cookout” and fundraising opportunities. Details on all upcoming events can be found at rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/upcoming-4-h-programs-7/.
This is just a glimpse of what 4-H has to offer. 4-H provides opportunities throughout the year, so try to find a way to get involved. If you’re new to 4-H, know that there are so many potential opportunities that it sometimes seems overwhelming. But once you jump in and get started, I promise you it gets easier to navigate. You also get connections with me (the 4-H agent), 4-H volunteers, and other parents who are great resources to help you and your family on your 4-H journey.
Join Rowan County 4-H! We would love for you and your family to participate!
For additional information or questions, please contact Laura Allen at 704-216-8970 or [email protected].
Laura H. Allen is a 4-H agent with Rowan County Extension.