December 16, 2015 - 1:31pm -- rowe.316@osu.edu

“Why are we talking about 4-H in December?” you ask. Because the Adams County 4-H enrollment deadline has been moved up to February 15th, and many of the area’s 4-H clubs will be organizing for 2016 in the next several weeks.

Youth interested in joining Adams County 4-H and exhibiting their 4-H project work or animals at the 2016 Adams County or Ohio State Fairs must enroll as a 4-H member on or before the February 15th deadline. Enrollment forms, additional information on joining 4-H, and Ohio 4-H Family Guides are available from local 4-H club advisors.

More than 700 Adams County youth ages 5 and in kindergarten through age 18 as of January 1 are expected to enroll in one of the county’s 28 active 4-H community clubs in 2016. The clubs are led by more than 140 screened and trained adult volunteer advisors who spend countless hours each year supporting 4-H members in their project work, working with clubs to complete fund raisers and community service projects, completing organizational tasks, such as enrollment and fair entries, and so much more.

As they enroll in the program, members ages 8 and in third grade through age 18 will sign up for one or more 4-H projects. More than 200 different projects are available, on a wide variety of topics. Youth may learn to select, feed, care for, show, and market their cattle, lambs, goats, hogs, poultry, or rabbits; they may learn about genetics and selection as they work with breeding animals; they may learn to train and show their dogs or horses; or they may learn and practice woodworking, food preparation, clothing construction, archery, veterinary science, or a wide variety of other skills.

According to Carolyn L. Belczyk, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development with OSU Extension Adams County, “Project work can and often does lead to higher education and career choices or to lifelong hobbies. Through their project work members learn a variety of life skills, including decision making, problem solving, and communications. They also develop leadership and citizenship skills as they meet with their fellow members, hold club office, and so much more.”

The highlight of the 4-H year for many youth and their families is exhibiting their completed project work or animals at the annual Adams County Fair, scheduled this year for Sunday, July 10, through Saturday, July 16. At the fair, youth and their families provide care for their animals, participate in project judging and special events and contests, and receive recognition for their many accomplishments.

Youth ages 5 and in kindergarten until age 8 and in third grade join the 4-H Cloverbud program. Participants in this non-competitive, activity-based program will share their completed activities with caring adults and members of the Adams County Junior Fair Board on Monday, July 11.

To find a 4-H club in your community or for more information about any aspect of the Adams County 4-H Youth Development program, contact Belczyk via email at belczyk.1@osu.edu, call OSU Extension Adams County at 937-544-2339, or visit the website at https://adams.osu.edu. Act today to find a club near you well in advance of the February 15th enrollment deadline.

4-H, the positive youth development program of The Ohio State University, is open to all eligible youth without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.