4-H News & Views
By Nick Baumgart
NORWAY - The signing of the Morrill Act in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln created the land grant universities to help educate rural America. This ultimately created the Cooperative Extension System which is a partner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Michigan State University is the land grant institution in Michigan and MSU Extension is the state organization which 4-H is governed by.
This structure established many years ago is still effective today.
4-H was established more than 100 years ago and has grown to become the largest youth organization in the nation. Today, 4-H serves rural, suburban and urban youth in all counties in every state across the nation.
4-H is not just for youth who live on farms or raise animals, although many youth do. There are numerous opportunities for involvement beyond the obvious approach to 4-H.
Computer technology, robotics, shooting sports, engine mechanics, global and cultural education, citizenship, service learning, career exploration, leisure skills, expressive arts along with health and fitness are just some of the innovative and trending activities available for youth to become involved with. Other topics and activities for youth are unlimited as youth can get involved with projects that suit their interests. Adults can get involved too as leaders and mentors. 4-H relies on adult volunteers to make sure youth have the opportunities available.
As summer approaches, so does much of the 4-H programs and events taking place. 4-H summer camp at Camp Molinare is a long standing traditional favorite for many youth of the area. Summer camp makes memories that last a lifetime.
The Proud Equestrian Program (PEP) is a therapeutic horse riding program for riders with disabilities to improve balance, coordination, posture and self-confidence. The shooting sports programs have regional shoots and have two youth representing the U.P. at Nationals. The Iron and Dickinson County Fairs offer great family fun and a chance for many youth and adults to show the products of their hard work. There is something for everyone.
There is so much to do and see in 4-H that everyone should come see what it is all about first hand. Be sure to attend a 4-H event this summer. Contact the 4-H MSUE for information about any program or to get involved. Call the Dickinson office at 774-0363 or the Iron County office at (906) 875-0604.