4-H is the largest youth organization in the nation.

More than 100 years ago, the 4-H seed was planted, the roots grew and 4-H Clubs sprouted. Initially, 4-H was developed to help improve farming practices and the farming way of life. While agriculture remains a key ingredient today, 4-H has branched out and has programs for all youth, with all different backgrounds, no matter what community they come from.

More than 6 million young people from across the country will celebrate the annual National 4-H Week. Locally, there are 11 4-H Clubs and 359 4-H members and Clover Buds spread out across Butler County. Clover Buds are youth five and six years of age and regular 4-H members are 7 – 18 years old. 4-H members enjoy a wide array of projects including: Livestock, Shooting Sports, Foods & Nutrition, Photography, Rabbits, Leadership, Clothing, Horse, Woodworking and Entomology just to name a few. 4-Hers also participate in monthly meetings where they participate in various fun activities and learn parliamentarian procedures.

What is the value of 4-H? A recent study conducted by Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development found that when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:

Report better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated level of engagement at school

Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college

More likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering, or computer technology

2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active

Shown to have had significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers

The National 4-H website www.4-h.org notes “With 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, the 4-H movement supports young people from elementary school through high school with programs designed to shape future leaders and innovators. Fueled by "http://www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/"research-driven programming, 4-H'ers engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.” With the help of volunteers, 4-Her’s are able to do their own projects, set and achieve goals and gain confidence in doing so. 4-H volunteers help mentor youth do develop these skills. In Butler County, we have over 100 4-H volunteers.

4-H is the largest youth organization in the nation. It’s tried, tested and true! If you are looking for an organization for your youth that has no cost to join, develops leaders, creates life-long friends, and helps youth become confident, capable and caring adults, then check out 4-H today! Life’s little questions are not meant to be answered alone. Join 4-H and get them answered together!

For more information on Butler County 4-H: www.kansas4h.org/"www.kansas4h.org, or call the Butler County Extension Office at (316) 321-9660.