Mar 04, 2024

BERAN: Year round learning

Posted Mar 04, 2024 10:15 AM

Cottonwood Extension District

We often associate 4-H projects with the county fair but there is so much more to the 4-H year!

The 4-H year begins in October and youth select several projects to explore and increase their knowledge and skills. During winter months, this project work can involve working with a beef or swine animal to begin growing, learning about health, and start handling the animal so that it is familiar with the 4-H member. Project work for the foods project may involve learning new skills such as measuring or using a sharp knife, and helping make meals for the family. Photography members can have incredible opportunities to experiment with light, shadows, and composition with the variety of weather that Kansas provides! Additionally, club members are taking on new leadership roles in their club and improving their communication skills at each meeting.

As we move into spring, livestock projects such as sheep and goats take off as those animals are born or purchased and youth will be learning about nutrition, animal health, and showmanship skills. Photography becomes even more fun as 4-H youth can explore subjects such as animals, insects, or landscapes as we can spend more time outside. This is the time that horticulture projects really get busy as youth work on preparing garden space and selecting seeds or plants.

Throughout the year, youth learn record keeping by working on Project Records which include setting goals, learning opportunities, project work, and financial records.

Communication, Leadership, and Community Engagement are all 4-H project areas but there is a piece of each of these in every 4-H project! These are lifetime skills that help youth be good family members, good employees, and good community members.

Keep learning! Keep showing grace and kindness!

Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District – Barton Office at 620-793-1910.