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4-H: So much more than cows and cookies!
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

Developing tomorrow’s leaders and enriching community vitality are two of the Grand Challenges focused on by K-State Research and Extension. These are at the core of 4-H and Youth Development!

According to “The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development,” 4-H girls are nearly 1.6 times more likely to pursue a career in science and two times more likely to pursue science, engineering and computer technology than their peers. 4-H members are over three times more likely to actively contribute to their communities than other youth.

While livestock projects can provide opportunities for 4-H youth to participate at local and state levels, the skills learned day-to-day include patience, perseverance and communication. Baking and clothing construction projects allow for practice of real-world technical skills such as preparing a healthy meal for your family or ironing a shirt before a big meeting.

Have you ever wondered why butterflies look the way they do? 

Health is one of the 4 “H”s and you can learn basic first aid and how to put together a first aid kit. 

Do you always have a camera in your hands and appreciate capturing important events?

If you enjoy a good book, harness that love of reading and share it with others.

Are you interested in building model rockets, robots and understanding space?

Citizenship is learning about how to take an active role in your community, country and world. 

Are you ready to step up to leadership by understanding yourself, considering others, being responsible communicating and making decisions?

4-H offers projects in Entomology, Health and Wellness, Photography, Reading, Space Tech, Citizenship and Leadership. 

A part of 4-H is also about developing adult leaders to work with youth in a safe environment to model behaviors, teach skills and set great examples. 

October 1 begins a new 4-H year so this is a great time to learn more about area 4-H Clubs and investigate 4-H projects that will expand your horizons and challenge your skills. To learn more, stop by or call your local K-State Research and Extension Office! 

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.