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Colorado State University, US Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating. 
Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. 


To Make the Best Better

November 2015 Newsletter
October 2015 Newsletter
May 2013 Newsletter 2013 Weigh In & QMA Dates (in PDF format)
Rio Blanco County Fair Schedule (in PDF format)
Events (in PDF format)
2010-2011 State Project List (in PDF format)
4-H Members Enrollment Form (in PDF format)
COOL Form (in PDF format)
4-H Volunteer Enrollment Form (in PDF format)
Animal Care & Housing Form (in PDF format)
4-H Volunteer Application Form (in PDF format)
WQMA Form (in PDF format)
Participation Policy (in PDF format)

4-H is more than meets the eye. Communication skills, decision-making skills and leadership skills are all learned through participation in 4-H. Other useful skills introduced during the 4-H year are record keeping and presentation of educational demonstrations. It is a youth developmental organization administered by Colorado State University and organized by the County Extension office.
The 4-H education allows opportunities to learn cooking, shooting sports, show horses, raising livestock and so much more. 4-H members choose a project and spend time actively learning about their topic. 4-H parents are invaluable in support and encouragement. 4-H leaders help guide and find resources for members.
Along with the help of volunteer leaders, parents and other individuals, 4-H members are able to involve themselves in educational experiences in both family and community settings. Additional benefits to project work are the opportunity to exhibit completed project work at the County Fair, attending State Fair, 4-H parties, camps, picnics, meeting people, making new friends, and earning scholarships.
Rio Blanco County Extension
Bill Ekstrom, Extension Agent (Agriculture and 4-H/Youth)

Frequently Asked Questions and All the Facts
Who may enroll?
To be a member of 4-H in Colorado, youth may be no younger than 5 years old no older than 18 years old on December 31st of the current enrollment year. The Colorado 4-H enrollment is open 365 days a year. The enrollment year begins October 1st and closes September 30th. The age of participants in 4-H programs is determined by the age of each youth on December 31st of the enrollment year. Cloverbuds is the name given to the non-competitive Colorado 4-H Youth Development Program for 5 to 7 year-olds.

Who is in charge of 4-H?
4-H is sponsored in Colorado by Extension of Colorado State University. Nationally, it is part of Extension Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The people in charge of 4-H locally are Extension Agents Bill Ekstrom and Dessa Watson, supported in part by your Rio Blanco County Commissioners.

What do the (4) H's stand for?
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The 4-H members pledge is as follows:
"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."

What is the 4-H Emblem?
A green four-leaf clover with a white "H" on each cloverleaf is the 4-H emblem. The official emblem is copyrighted and may be used only as approved by 4-H.


Why do young people like 4-H?
They have fun with friends at meetings, social activities, tours, camps and fairs. They learn to do interesting things such as: taking pictures, carving leather, teaching dogs obedience, learning to sew and cook, collecting bugs, identifying weeds, and making rockets fly. Some help with 4-H educational programs.

How do you join?
Call the Extension Office or a local 4-H leader to see if there is space within a club. If not, several interested young people with an adult or two to help them may start a new club. Check with the Extension office to find out what projects and activities are available.


How do you get a new 4-H club organized?
First, you need to contact the Extension Office. Next, meet with interested young people and adults who are willing to help. You can also publicize it through schools, etc. where young people and their parents can be reached.

What do you do at the first meeting?
The first meeting usually is for getting acquainted and having fun with a group mixer and/or some refreshments. You can also begin with "show and tell" about projects the group might like. Give this some thought in advance and talk with the 4-H youth agent for ideas. Discuss when, where and how often the group will meet.

What about officers?
4-H clubs have the officers and committees they need to run their own business. 4-H has materials available for presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers, news reporters and recreation leaders. It is a good idea to wait until the second or third meeting to elect officers.

How often do 4-H clubs meet?
Some clubs meet every week for one or two months and some meets once or twice a month all year long. This depends on the group and what it wants to do. 4-H clubs may organize any time of the year. Sometimes members have to be enrolled in a project by a certain time to be eligible for a specific activity. Check on this with your Extension Office.

Where do 4-H clubs meet?
Clubs meet any place large enough for all their members. Some clubs meet in leaders' or members' homes. Some meet in a central place such as a school, church, community room or fairgrounds.

How big should a club be?
This depends on the age of the members, the places they have to meet and the leadership available. The ideal club is big enough to have fun together, but small enough for everyone to feel a part of the group. Clubs may have limited enrollments due to the leaders' willingness to work with a certain age group or club size.


What are 4-H projects?
4-H projects are learning experiences for 4-H members. Over 60 projects are currently available from Colorado State University Extension.

What does a 4-H project cost?
There may be a minimal enrollment fee along with additional costs varying from project to project. For example, members enrolled in cake decorating might use supplies from around the kitchen to practice the skills they are learning and have no additional expense. Whereas, members enrolled in horse may buy and keep a horse investing hundreds of dollars. Discussion of cost is important as a project is selected. It should be realistic to the family situation.

Should 4-H members do their own project work?
Yes, with help. 4-H is a "learn by doing" program. Leaders, junior leaders and parents may tell or show a member how to do things themselves.

What is an exhibit?
An exhibit is an object of display that 4-H members show at the Rio Blanco County Fair or a designated Exhibit Day. This is designed to help young people feel they are capable and have accomplished something. Ideally, it motivates them to learn and to have fun in a 4-H project. An exhibit is not an end in itself, nor does it measure the learning that takes place in a project. The ribbon the exhibit receives is only one measure of success. Other important rewards are self-recognition and self-satisfaction for having completed a project, leadership skills, and learning something new.

Are projects done individually or as a group? Both. Some projects are more fun when done as a group. Others will be done individually by each member of the group.

What 4-H projects are available? There are many projects from which to choose. Here is a sampling to show the variety available:

Beef                Dog
Goat                Horse
Poultry             Rabbits
Sheep               Swine
Veterinary Science  Model Rocketry
Heritage Arts       Fishing
Shooting Sports     Junior Leadership
Leather craft       Cake Decorating
Clothing            Foods
Photography         Child Care
Cloverbuds          Home Environment


What do 4-H clubs do at meetings?
4-H clubs usually do four general kinds of things: project work, business meetings, recreation orsocial activities and special interest programs.

Do they do all of those things at one meeting?
Sometimes. If they have a little business to conduct, then they work on their projects for a while and maybe play a game or two. Sometimes the whole meeting is devoted to one thing. For example, everyone brings a dog and practices obedience training, or they elect officers and plan the club program, or they have a bowling party, or tour a local bakery.

Who plans the program for the club?
Members of the club and the leader plan the program. If their club is small, this might be done at a meeting of the whole group. If the club is large, ideas come from everybody and a committee of the club puts together a program.

When do clubs meet and how long do meetings last?
This depends on the group. Many clubs meet for an hour or two after school, in the evenings or on Saturday. The most important thing is to have a regular time to get together, one that members and their families can remember.


How can parents get involved in 4-H?
Parents are invited to 4-H meetings so they can see how leaders work with clubs. 4-H will work best if parents can make a commitment to help support the 4-H leader. 4-H leaders are volunteers. Parents help with 4-H work if they have the time and desire to do so. Leaders may ask parents to help with specific jobs. Parental involvement is encouraged. Parents can also become 4-H leaders.


What is a 4-H leader?
An adult who has applied with the local Colorado State University Extension, attended a leader training class and works voluntarily with a group of 4-H members.

Are there different kinds of leaders?
Yes. Some adults teach members how to do things and are called "project leaders". They usually have a special interest of skill such as photography, clothing or rocketry. Sometimes big clubs divide jobs and have several project leaders to meet all the interests of the 4-H members.

What about teenagers who help with 4-H?
Most counties have junior leaders who are also 4-H members. They work under the guidance of an adult and help with any of the leadership jobs in the club or county. It depends on their ability and experience. Junior leaders are wonderful help to adult leaders.

How many leaders would a 4-H club have?
The number of leaders depends on the size of the club and the number of members.

Where would I learn how to be a 4-H leader?
The first step is to contact your local Colorado State University Extension agent. Cooperative Extension has many support services for leaders. Leaders are placed on special mailing lists, invited to special training meetings and workshops, and given materials needed to organize a 4-H club. Be sure to ask any question you have, and visit with other leaders if you wish.

Whom would you contact about 4-H?
Call 878-9490 in Meeker or 878-9495 in Rangely or stop by your local Extension Office. The Meeker office is located at the fairgrounds on Sulphur Creek Road, open Monday - Thursday, 8AM to Noon & 1PM to 5PM and Friday by appointment. The Rangely office is located in the Western Annex building at 17497 State Hwy 64, open Monday - Thursday, 12 noon to 6PM. We are more than happy to visit with you about the 4-H program in Rio Blanco County.

Bill Ekstrom
(Agriculture and 4-H & Youth)