An awesome 2009 statistic for the Putnam County 4-H program is that 92 percent of those who enrolled in 4-H completed a project.
In many counties, this number is in the 65-80 percent range.
First and foremost, the more than 80 volunteers who serve as the spokes in the wheels advancing the 4-H program have been key to this statistic. In many cases parents are also volunteers but parents play a key role in this awesome statistic.
Many counties only report enrollment numbers to local stakeholders, but completion and follow through with the program would seem to be of the utmost importance. Thank you 4-Hers, volunteers and parents who make this completion rate possible. Putnam County has tended to be in the 87-91 percent range during recent years.
It is time to be signing up for 4-H in 2010. The enrollment form is online this year at the website referenced below. There are more than 100 different projects and activities for one to participate in 4-H at the local and state levels.
The Junior Leaders are 4-Her's in grades seven-12 who are willing to step forward and go beyond the learning activities in the projects that they have worked on during previous grades. It is really neat to see the leadership and willingness of these youth to participate in stepping up and accepting responsibility. It will be exciting to see their community service efforts and projects throughout the rest of the year.
Rising to become a 10-year 4-H member shows significant commitment and is a prestigious honor that 45 of our local youth are aspiring toward in 2010. During a recent study of 10-year 4-H members, these youth were asked about the perceived benefits of being in 4-H specific to a list of life skills.
The top identified life skills where 4-H program involvement had moderate or major influence included the following for Putnam County 4-Her's: Wise use of resources, planning and organizing, goal setting, decision making, social skills, cooperation, communication, leadership, citizenship, self motivation, esteem and responsibility, and character.
Youth grades three through 12 are welcomed to join 4-H and are reminded that the deadline to enroll is April 1. The program is not strictly about the important lessons learned from showing livestock or farm activities. There are nearly 75 specific projects that include shooting sports, scrapbooking, photography, sewing, aerospace, ATV safety, small engines, and model building crafts.
Call the office to sign-up. If your eligible family members have already enrolled, encourage a friend or relative.
Check our Web site at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam to view the most up to date info.
You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding column topics or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.
While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
Mark Evans is Putnam County's county extension director and 4-H youth development director for Purdue Extension.
January 24: Deadline for registration for Growing for Market II -- Putnam County
February 2: Deadline for registration for Living on the Land program
February 3: Extension Homemaker County Council -- Extension Office, 11:30 a.m.
February 8: E.H. Lesson "Repotting & Replanting for the Home" -- 1 p.m. at Extension Office
February 13: 4-H Beef Tagging and Weigh-in, Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.
February 15: Application, Resume, Interviewing Help Session, Extension Office, 9 a.m.-Noon
February 22: 4-H Enrollment and Adult Fair Activity Open House, Extension Office, 5-7 p.m.
February 23: Application, Resume, Interviewing Help Session, Extension Office, 6-8 p.m.
February 27: Advanced Master Gardener Training
March 4: Adventures in Yard Fruit Production 9 Am
April 1: 4-H Enrollment forms due
April 16: Putnam County 4-H Scholarships Due