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4-H Matters

Message from the Director

As we embrace the holiday season and prepare for the close of another year, we find ourselves as busy as ever at the UI Extension 4-H Youth Development office. Reflecting on 2016, there is so much to be grateful for, including this new opportunity to connect with our loyal 4-H families, alumni, friends and volunteers through our digital newsletter.

Our hope is that we will be able to keep you up to date with the many great things happening in 4-H throughout our state. For instance, this year alone we had over 14,000 4-H club members and over 4,000 registered volunteers to implement the club program. New programs were started and established programs were enhanced through gifts from our many generous supporters. A few of those stories are highlighted in this first edition of our newsletter and we look forward to featuring more in the coming months.

We are proud of all that is accomplished through 4-H programs in Idaho and we hope that you will welcome the chance to learn about these successes on county, state, national and even international levels.

We look forward to what 2016 has to offer and hope you will join us in our efforts to make this our best year yet for 4-H youth in Idaho.

Jim Lindstrom
4-H State Director

Did You Know?

The Know Your Government (KYG) program is in its 29th year and allows 4-H youth in Idaho to actively participate in and learn about legislative and judicial actions of Idaho. KYG has served 4,763 youth since its beginning. Participants meet with 75-100 state senators, representatives and judges each year.

Statewide Impact

Leading 4-H Teens into 2017

“People aren’t inspired by what you do, they are inspired by why you do it.”

Andrew Gutierrez, a 4-H member from Canyon County, used these words to kick off a powerful workshop on “Finding Your Why,” at the recent Idaho 4-H Ambassador Conference in McCall. Gutierrez and his fellow Teen Association Officers spent an hour working with teens to discover what motivates them to be in 4-H and make a difference in their communities.

The officers of the Idaho 4-H Teen Association include Vice President, Emily Manker, Twin Falls County; Media Manager, Kaitlyn Steppe, Ada County; Secretary, Sydney Andrews, Idaho County; President, Andrew Gutierrez, Canyon County; and Activities Director, Nathan Hampton, Custer County. They are advised by Brian Luckey, an Extension Educator for UI Extension, Ada County. The officers were selected at the 2016 Idaho 4-H Teen Conference and will serve until June, 2017.

The Teen Association officers’ primary role in 2016-17 is to spread the news about the changes to teen programs in Idaho. They have given workshops at the Idaho 4-H Volunteer Forum in Twin Falls and the Ambassador Conference. They will present on teen opportunities in 4-H at the Idaho 4-H Know Your Government Conference in Boise in February, and will represent Idaho 4-H at National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland in March. Their primary message is to encourage teens to get involved with district and state 4-H programs to help them to “Make the Best Better.”

Six teens in front of a 4-H banner.
Idaho 4-H Teen Association Officers: Emily Manker, Kaitlyn Steppe, Sydney Andrews, Andrew Gutierrez, Nathan Hampton and advisor Brian Luckey.

Healthy Living Has Impact on Idaho Youth

4-H Food Smart Families, in partnership with University of Idaho Extension’s Eat Smart Idaho program, has reached 7,600 youth over a three span. The purpose of the 4-H Food Smart Families program is to create more food secure homes by teaching families with limited resources how to shop for and cook nutritious meals on a budget. 4-H staff and interns work together to deliver the program.

Ten lessons teach participants topics and skills on healthy eating, healthy snack preparation, hand washing and food safety, label reading, physical activity and shopping. At the end of the program each participant goes home with a recipe book of healthy snacks and enough ingredients to make two of those recipes.

“My internship with 4-H Food Smart Families exposed me to a completely new side of 4-H and has since helped guide me in choosing my future career,” said Liz Bumstead, former intern and 4-H member.

Teen advocates are also contributing to the program success and learning valuable skills along the way. Since 2014, 31 4-H Healthy Living Teen Advocates have been trained. They have learned teaching, leadership, communication and logistic skills.

Two teens were selected to join six 4-H health advocates from other states for a trip to Washington D.C. to visit President Obama in April 2015. One of these teens is now on the 2017 National Youth Summit on Healthy Living planning team.

“Thanks to National 4-H Council and UI Extension grants our 4-H and Eat Smart Idaho teams have been able to build a strong internal partnership impacting kids around the state. We are changing the way kids thinking about their health,” said Maureen Toomey, UI Area Extension Educator and program lead.

A young woman shows a little boy an orange juice label.
A 4-H Food Smart Families intern talks about nutrition labels at an outreach event.

County Successes

Creating Opportunities Through Partnerships

Developing partnerships to reach new audiences has been the focus of UI Extension, Blaine County 4-H programming for the last two years.

4-H volunteers had a vision to hold summer camps that all youth could attend, regardless of resources. That vision, combined with a monetary gift from the James and Barbara Cimino Foundation and interest from the Idaho I Have a Dream Foundation (IHADF), became a reality in summer 2016.

A series of camps and activities were offered to 45 youth from IHADF due in large part to the gift from the Cimino Foundation. Youth were able to learn about horse education, archery, Nutrition in the Garden and weekly robotics programs.

By building partnerships and collaborating, UI Extension, Blaine County 4-H was able to create a busy summer of six-hour days, five days a week filed with “first times” for these 45 youth participants.

After attending the 4-H Horse Camp, one youth proclaimed:

“Thank you; that was the first time I ever went horseback riding and I loved it!”

A child on a horse.
Idaho I Have a Dream Foundation participants learned about horse education during 4-H camps offered by UI Extension, Blaine County

Support Idaho 4-H

Know Your Government 2017

The UI Extension 4-H Youth Development Know Your Government Conference will take place in Boise on February 18-20. The purpose of this conference is for participants to learn how the state government decision-making process works and how to participate politically to influence state government.

Youth gain hands-on experience through participation in workshops, taking part in mock committee meetings and trials, meeting legislators and judges and touring the Idaho Capitol building and Ada County Courthouse. Interested in supporting 4-H youth and Know Your Government? Visit our giving page.


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4-H Headquarters

University of Idaho Extension, 4-H Youth Development

Physical Address:
Mary E. Forney Hall
1210 Blake Avenue, Room 206
Moscow, ID 83844-3015

Mailing Address:
4-H Youth Development
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3015
Moscow, ID 83844-3015

Phone: 208-885-6321

Fax: 208-885-4637


Web: 4-H Youth Development

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