New 4-H snapshots available – and not just about animals

In a previous Spotlight article, I let you know about some new Michigan 4-H Youth Development animal science snapshot sheets available online. The fact sheets give an overview of a 4-H project in a “snapshot” or brief summary.

The first series of snapshots focused on dog, goat, poultry and rabbit projects. You may have been disappointed when you didn’t see your favorite animal project featured. Now, 4-H offers more animal snapshots. You can now find dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horse and pony snapshots on the 4-H website. Try saying “sheep and swine snapshots” quickly, many times!

In addition, 4-H offers new snapshots focusing on other 4-H projects besides animal projects. Now, you can find snapshots on photography and horticulture as well.

The fact sheets let 4-H’ers know what to expect if they choose to get involved in a specific 4-H project. They also offer lists of curricula and resources.

Katie VanderKolk, Michigan State University Extension animal science educator, says the snapshots have been “overwhelmingly successful.”

Katie said, “County staff are using them in mainly two different ways: for recruitment of new members in specific project areas for new families and as a tool to help current volunteers gauge what they are doing in their club and build awareness of the resources and opportunities in that project area.”

Veronica Bolhuis, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute 4-H program coordinator in Kalamazoo County, believes the snapshots are a great resource for both leaders and participants. She uses them when talking to potential participants and volunteers.

“It gives them a quick reference to the bigger picture. I love that they include 4-H resources on both the state and national side along with other resources. New families or new volunteers can be easily overwhelmed with the amount of information presented to them. This is a quick and easy tool to pull out for them and it doesn’t seem so overwhelming then,” Veronica said.

She also uses them as talking points when speaking with community members and other stakeholders.

Veronica said, “Sometimes people think, ‘Well, they’re just growing a garden – so what?’ When we can show the science, life skills, leadership and communication behind the project, then people are more engaged in why it is important to teach these skills.”

Find all of the 4-H project snapshot sheets online at


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