November 2012

4-H isn't just about farming

So enough with the straw-chewing jokes already.

Last month I took a 4-H volunteer training class to begin preparing for our new 4-H club. We have been members in another club for two years, but it has since stopped meeting so we needed to find another closer to home. We didn’t have one, unfortunately, so we decided to create our own. In recruiting new members for this club, the most frequent question I have run across is, “Isn’t 4-H about farming?”

In a word, no! It is true that 4-H club has its roots in farming, but that’s because we used to be a largely agrarian society. The main interest of people—as well as their main interest—was farming. Now, however, as we have grown and diversified, so has the program. It’s really all about helping children develop their interest and leadership qualities by making friends.

Even the 4-H projects you might have been familiar with as a child have changed. Sure, there are still projects that include raising rabbits or cows, but there are also many others—from fashion design to robotics, cooking to Legos, and anything else you can imagine.