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4-H is much more than just county and state fairs

Kim Sterkel
Greeley, Colo.

4-H organizations are usually just known for the county fair or state fair that comes around once a year. It’s something that if you are not actively involved in appears as though that is all it is … but is that really the case?

4-H is a lifelong organization for those who were and are currently involved in it. It becomes part of the participants and is something that does not seem to ever go away. The county and state fair is just one event that comes around for its members, not their sole involvement. It is because of that reason that the support system for 4-H plays a huge role in making sure that all the members are able to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to them.

The major supporting group for youth involvement in 4-H is the Colorado 4-H Foundation. The 4-H Foundation is responsible for giving the members every opportunity possible and helping them to achieve their highest goals. They organize and conduct fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds for the entire state. These funds are used in a wide variety of ways, from providing scholarships to graduating seniors to helping fund members to travel to Washington, D.C., to learn about our nation’s beloved history.

The State 4-H Foundation even has close ties with Weld County.

This past year Jeff Goodwin, director of 4-H Youth and Development, helped to organize a Hall of Fame recognition for those individuals throughout the state who have had a huge impact on 4-H and the foundation. Eleven individuals became the first inductees to the Hall of Fame on Oct. 8.

Of those 11 individuals, four had direct ties to Weld County. Paul Hoshiko, Art Hoag and John Matsushima all were involved in Weld County 4-H. Their involvement ranged from the desire to keep international trips available for future members to rocketry achievements to huge impacts on beef cattle feeding. These three individuals alone show the diversity in the 4-H program and how their devotion to the organization is still known today.

The fourth inductee who has direct ties to Weld County is Wayne Allard. Wayne Allard did not grow up in Weld County like the previous three but instead grew up involved in 4-H in Jackson and Larimer counties. He gained his connection to Weld County through his service as a U.S. senator.

4-H and its impact is something that remains in the hearts of many individuals. Its main goal is and will hopefully always be to “Make the Best Better,” and this is made possible by the 4-H Foundation. The foundation is a statewide organization, but it is also right in your backyard. Locally, the Weld County 4-H Foundation has been in operation for 57 years providing support to members and leaders as they pursue excellence through project work, leadership and community involvement.

4-H is symbolized by a green four-leaf clover. The clover shares the meaning of leadership and community involvement, and this is why the inductees along with all the past, present and future members will always be “Forever Green.”

Kim Sterkel is the 4-H livestock program coordinator for the Weld County Extension Office.


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