Category Archives: 4-H

4-H True Leaders help with rangeland wildfire disaster relief

As a part of the National 4-H True Leaders in Service initiative in April, Michigan State University Extension Michigan 4-H youth from over 10 counties participated in various activities to provide disaster relief to farms and ranchers affected by wildfires. Back in March, regions in Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas saw high winds and uncontrollable wildfires that devastated vast areas of rangeland causing ranchers to struggle to feed and care for their livestock. Michigan 4-H’ers sprang into action by collecting supplies and funds to send. Several groups even traveled to Kansas and Oklahoma to help rebuild farms.

To read about each county’s efforts and to hear from the 4-H True Leaders who participated, visit our website to view the article “4-H ‘True Leaders’ Across Michigan Assist in Rangeland Wildfire Disaster Relief.”

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Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth

The Inspiring 4-H Challenged Me program

During the 2016 Eastern Michigan State Fair, the 4-H Challenged Me program gave mild to severely disabled children from Lapeer, Macomb, Tuscola and Sanilac counties the chance to show livestock. The program had 17 members and 19 coaches who taught them how to handle, train, show and care for the animals. Two innovative 4-H alumni, Tiffany Howell and Michelle Peel, teamed up with the local intermediate school district social worker and the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H program coordinator, Kathy George, to set the program in motion. In January, the 4-H Challenged Me Club was chosen as a Program of Excellence by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Read the full story, “4-H Challenged Me helps kids make a new connection,” by Laura Scott, and see the photos on the MSU Extension website. Let it challenge us to think about ways we can reach people of all ages who have special needs or are underserved.

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Filed under 4-H, Awards, Children and Youth, diversity, Uncategorized

Joining 4-H and Alumni at the MSU Women’s Basketball Game

More than 4,500 4-H youth, their families, and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff members and their families attended the MSU Women’s Basketball game Jan. 22.

For the first time, Michigan 4-H alumni and the Michigan 4-H Foundation also hosted an event for 4-H alumni. More than 60 people from across the state attended the event and enjoyed food, coloring for kids, games, a Spartan Selfie Station, a visit from Sparty and general networking. We hope this is the first of many successful alumni events.

At halftime, 4-H’ers from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties made their way to the court. They were joined by Patrick Cudney, associate director of MSU Extension, and Julie Chapin, Children and Youth Institute director, as they proudly led the 4-H pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Youth stand on the court with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney and lead the pledge.

Youth from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties lead the 4-H pledge with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney.

Thank you to everyone who came together to make the alumni event and the 4-H Day at the Breslin so successful!

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Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth

Michigan 4-H receives awards at the States’ 4-H International Conference

From left to right: Yoko Kawaguchi, Martha Shapton, Heather Gray, Gwen Apger, Jan Brinn, D’Ann Rohrer and Cathy Sutphin. Photo courtesy of D'ann Rohrer; all posing with the award plaque on stage.

From left to right: Yoko Kawaguchi, Martha Shapton, Heather Gray, Gwen Apger, Jan Brinn, D’Ann Rohrer and Cathy Sutphin. Photo courtesy of D’ann Rohrer.

Michigan 4-H received three awards at the States’ 4-H International Exchange Conference in Seattle, Washington, Nov. 11. Michigan 4-H Youth Development received the Valued Partnership with States’ 4-H International Exchange Since 1974 Award and the Diversity in Hosting Award. Additionally, Michigan 4-H International Exchange Programs received the Extraordinary Quality Programs Award. Heather Gray, 4-H international exchange coordinator; children and youth educators Janis Brinn and D’Ann Rohrer; and Martha Shapton and Gwen Apger, both local program coordinators in the Upper Peninsula, traveled to Seattle to attend the conference and accept the awards presented by Cathy Sutphin, States’ 4-H board chair, and Yoko Kawaguchi, president of State’s 4-H International Exchange Programs.

“The success of States’ 4-H International’s global citizenship programs would not be possible without the efforts and dedication from 4-H staff and volunteers in your state, especially the state coordinator, D’Ann Rohrer,” Yoko said.

Among many accomplishments this year, Michigan generously stepped in to host several more delegates than the original hosting number. In addition, Michigan hosts the largest number of yearlong students among all participating states, one of whom attended the annual conference as a special guest speaker and youth ambassador. Yoko also acknowledged Michigan’s 43 years of uninterrupted partnership and its hosting of more than 2,800 delegates during that span.

Through our 4-H International Exchange Program, we hope to build relationships with other countries and to help our young people develop an international perspective. I would like to thank our 4-H International Exchange Program team, as well as the volunteers and host families who are making a difference internationally in youth’s lives in a way that sets us apart.

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Filed under 4-H, Awards

Tuscola County 4-H club takes second place nationally

Congratulations to the Deford Dazzlers Rocket Team 4-H club who won second place in the national Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Peter Hansen, Alexander Hansen and Chrysler Parrish, the three club members, traveled to The Plains, Virginia, on May 14 to compete.

The Deford Dazzlers 4-H Club receives their award for finishing in second place in the nation during the Team America Rocketry Challenge. The team is in the orange shirts (from left to right): Peter Hansen, Alexander Hansen and Chrysler Parrish.

The Deford Dazzlers 4-H Club receives their award for finishing in second place in the nation during the Team America Rocketry Challenge. The team is in the orange shirts (from left to right): Peter Hansen, Alexander Hansen and Chrysler Parrish.

According to the TARC website, the competition is an important part of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. TARC is also the world’s largest student rocket contest.

Just to get to the competition, the team competed with 775 teams to qualify for one of 100 spots. Despite windy weather, the team’s rocket launch reached an altitude of 829 feet, the second highest score.

Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, IBM and other sponsors awarded the Deford Dazzlers Rocket Team with $16,000 in scholarships ‒ $5,000 per team member, plus another $1,000 for the 4-H club to help fund its science and rocketry education program.

Patricia Hansen, 4-H club leader told the Cass City Chronicle that all of this would not have been possible without Tuscola County 4-H, their program coordinator Heather Middleton and Extension secretary Catherine Patterson.

She also thanked the Tuscola County 4-H Council as well as the Tuscola County residents who recently voted to continue to fund Michigan State University Extension.

We are very proud of our 4-H members and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to their growth and the valuable opportunities they’ve had. Congratulations again to our young rocketeers.

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Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth, Youth development

Thousands enjoy 4-H Exploration Days on campus

From June 22 to 24, Michigan State University Extension hosted 4-H Exploration Days, a pre-college program annually attended by about 2,500 young people ages 11 to 19 along with chaperones from across Michigan.

The program helps youth increase responsibility, confidence, independence and accountability as well as practice problem-solving, decision-making and time-management skills. 4-H Exploration Days attendees have the opportunity to meet new people and exercise communication, teamwork and leadership. The event also inspires them to explore college options and to develop social and academic skills they need for a successful transition to college.

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This year, campers came from all over Michigan, representing all 83 counties. Youth participated in over 200 sessions ranging from animal science to sports and from business and entrepreneurship to arts and crafts. Outside of sessions, they enjoyed many on-campus activities such as swimming at the IM Sports West outdoor pool, bowling at the Union, ice skating at the Munn Ice Arena, visiting the Abrams Planetarium and lots more. They also attended an entertainment event on Wednesday night, which featured motivational speaker Brandon Lee White.

I’d like to thank the hundreds of MSU Extension staff members and 4-H volunteers who made this opportunity possible for our youth.

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Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth, Youth development

Honey bees are all the buzz for this group of SCIT youth

On Monday, May 9, 25 youth from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (SCIT) participated in the Honey Bee Challenge hosted at the Ziibiwing Center in Mt. Pleasant. Betty Jo Krosnicki, MSU Extension children and youth educator, and Kristi Schreiber, 4-H program coordinator in Isabella County, organized this event that teaches 4-H youth about the importance of honey bees in food production in order to feed the world.

Youth learned about the process of honey bee pollination and the many foods that we grow that depend on them such as apples, oranges and strawberries. They also learned about the importance of beekeeping and research positions that will ensure we have bees to keep pollinating our food crops in the future. Participants even had the opportunity to build their own battery-powered honey bees. They took home new backpacks filled with information, with seeds to encourage planting flowers that are great sources of pollen and nectar for bees. Each also received a stick of honey.

In Michigan, one of the deliverables for this grant is to train at least 20 4-H teen leaders to lead the Honey Bee Challenge in their local communities. The activity can be scheduled during camps, after-school programs, 4-H club meetings or even during school. With the activity this year, Betty Jo and her team will reach about 1,500 youth participants March through July in Michigan. She has worked with teen leaders throughout the state to train them to lead the activity. Most of the teen leaders for this project received training in March during the Teens as Teachers workshop at Kettunen Center. This is a great opportunity for teens to build their confidence and leadership skills.

Nationally, the Honey Bee Challenge is a program that is a part of the 2016 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, sponsored by National 4-H Council and Monsanto. Betty Jo has managed the grant project for the past 3 years, directing the Fish Farm Challenge the first year and the Windmill Challenge the second. The program reaches 10,000 youth in states with a strong agricultural industry. Its purpose is to help young people develop the professional skills needed to feed a growing world population. It ties in relevant concepts such as aquaculture and environmental stewardship with a hands-on activity that makes learning fun and encourages young people to pursue a career in agriculture and technical fields. This initiative seeks to engage the next generation of farmers, scientists and innovators that will be able to address the needs of an exponentially growing world population.

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Filed under 4-H, Uncategorized