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4-H gives youths opportunities

Program teaches things that will take them far in life

There’s a lot more to 4-H besides doing projects for the annual county fair.

Sure, raising an animal to show at the fair or doing any of the other projects is a lot of fun and, yes, a lot of hard work.

The member projects that are a key component of the 4-H program help young people develop important life skills that center on positive self-esteem, communications and decision making. Those who partake of the 4-H experience learn how to conceptualize a task and carry it through to successful conclusion. Many of the most successful members of our communities first began to hone their organizational and communication skills in 4-H.

What they learn today from the program positions them to join the ranks of highly successful former 4-H members like Iowa-born astronaut Peggy Whitson; Terry Branstad, the former Iowa governor who went on to serve as the United States ambassador to China; former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge; and former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

4-H helped shape their lives, and it’s helping to shape the lives of today’s youths.

That fact was demonstrated during the recent 4-H Recognition and Awards Banquet in Fort Dodge.

The young people weren’t the only ones honored during the event. Adults who volunteer their time to provide all of those life-changing programs were also honored.

”It’s just a special tradition to recognize not only our 4-H members, but also all of our incredible volunteers,” said Lindsay Kavanaugh, the Webster County Extension youth coordinator. ”So whether it’s a club leader, project leader, youth committee member, it’s basically just to recognize everyone who is a part of the 4-H family.”

4-H is an outstanding organization. We encourage young people to consider joining it and we applaud the adults who make it work.

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