I think that one of the best parts about 4-H is the ability to stay involved long after your days of showing sheep or competing in robotics competitions. While many people know about opportunities to volunteer, here are three other ways to get involved with UI Extension 4-H Youth Development and support the important work being done across the state:
- Participate in the National 4-H “Raise Your Hand” campaign. This is a way in which to identify yourself as a 4-H alumnus. Learn more and raise your hand as a proud past participant of this great program. This allows Idaho to be eligible for up to $20,000 just through your participation.
- Support UI Extension 4-H Youth Development during Vandal Giving Day on April 24-25. The funds raised during this 1,889-minute online giving day will support 4-H programs in Idaho. Get a sneak preview now, but be sure to come back on April 24 to make your gift.
- Consider getting a UI Extension 4-H Youth Development license plate. Show your 4-H pride with these distinctive plates that support our programs for youth in the state. Visit the Idaho DMV for more information.
There are many ways in which you can get involved in 4-H. I hope that if you aren’t already doing so, you might consider giving back through one of the ways mentioned here.
4-H Youth Development Director
4-H Alumni: Show Idaho Counts
4-H Alumni and Friends
Let National 4-H Council know your name, email address and state.
Over half of Idaho is classified as rangelands with both private and public land management agencies as stewards. Because of this robust ecosystem, there is a need to educate both youth and adults about the opportunities and challenges on rangelands. Rangelands provide multiple uses including livestock grazing, recreation, research, wildlife habitat and plant ecosystem functions.
To address this educational need, University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development launched a Rangeland Skill-a-thon in 2015 as a one-day event to educate youth through competition, educational speakers and hands-on activities. In 2016 and 2017, the event expanded to an overnight excursion.
The youth teams learn about rangeland challenges and opportunities and prepare to compete in plant and animal identification, soil texturing, and range management. Each year, a different focus or topic area is determined by the Rangeland Skill-a-thon committee. These topic areas focus on real-life challenges that occur on rangelands. Each team then prepares an oral presentation and 3-D diorama of their interpretation of the topic area.
To account for the diversity of Idaho’s rangelands, the Rangeland Skill-a-thon changes locations each year depending on the identified topic area.
Previous locations have included Cambridge where teams needed to protect sage grouse habitat while maintaining a livestock grazing operation; McCall where teams needed to graze livestock in close proximity to wolves; and Challis where teams needed to protect endangered fish species in streams and rivers that are used for irrigation and water for their ranch.
The 2018 Rangeland Skill-a-thon will be held on the Camas Prairie in northern Idaho in late September, with the focus area announced in May.
The Rangeland Skill-a-thon planning committee has noticed that it’s not only the participating youth who are learning but also the adult volunteers and family members. Preliminary survey results indicate an increase in knowledge in both youth and adult attendees. To date, over 150 youth and adult participants have attended the three previous skill-a-thons.
The team includes five UI Extension faculty, four government agencies and one private research endowment to identify rangeland education priorities, develop appropriate curriculum and conduct educational activities that serve a growing clientele base interested in learning more about Idaho rangelands.
In 2016, University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development began implementing changes to teen programming at the recommendation of a 4-H teen task force. One of the largest program changes was to the Idaho 4-H State Teen Association Convention (STAC), which now has a greater focus on post-secondary education and career exploration.
“When we were revamping our teen programs we were missing that career exploration and career preparedness component,” said Shana Codr, Idaho 4-H event coordinator. “We thought that the event on campus is the perfect place and outlet to do that. Giving kids an opportunity to come to campus and see what it’s like and what type of careers are available to them.”
STAC is open to all Idaho youth, regardless of 4-H affiliation, who have completed grades 8 to 12. The four-day event is held on the U of I campus in Moscow.
“It’s a 4-H program because we offer the opportunity, but any teen in Idaho can come to this, it’s not just for 4-H members,” Codr said.
2017 marked the first year of the revamped programming where participants were able to attend a variety of hands-on career focused workshops. A medical sciences workshop focused on anatomy and physiology and allowed participants to explore a human cadaver. Another workshop focused on technology, allowing youth to learn how to use a 3D printer, virtual reality equipment and green screen technology.
“The workshops focus on hands-on activities to give them a flavor of what some of these fields are about,” Codr said.
Youth were also able to visit local businesses to learn more from employees about their careers. One group visited Pullman Regional Hospital where they learned about careers in the health care industry and degree programs related to health sciences. Post event surveys found that 95 percent of attendees planned to attend a college or university after high school.
Twelve workshops were offered in 2017 and that number has increased to 25 for the 2018 event, focused on everything from animal science, first aid response and landscape architecture to engineering.
STAC is also unique in that the planning committee is mostly made up of youth. Thirteen youth and six adults help to plan the event.
“The youth have a real voice when it comes to what happens, workshops and opportunities,” Codr said.
The 2018 STAC event will take place June 25-28.
CALS student discovers apparel, textiles and design through 4-H
Many Ways to Learn
- 4-H Youth Development Program Provides Opportunities (Rexburg Standard Journal)
- Have an Adventure Quest with a 4-H Summer: Outdoor Learning, Camps, Arts and Crafts (Idaho Mountain Express)
- Treasure Valley Wild Mustangs: Quilters Support 4-H Mustang Project (Emmett Messenger-Index) and After Months of Training, Wild Horses Put Up for Adoption in Nampa (KTVB television in Boise)