4-H is Alive and Well in Yolo County
By Dave Rosenberg, Yolo County Supervisor, 4th District
As a true 4-H Member, I pledge
My head to clear thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
My health to better living
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Such is the 4-H pledge. And for those few who didn't know, the 4-H's stand for: head, heart, hands, and health. It's a youth program with relevance even in this fast-paced modern world.
4-H has a history going back to 1914. At that time, there was a concern for education in rural areas, or more accurately, the relevance of public schools to country life. So, in 1914 the Congress of the United States created the Cooperative Extension Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that included the creation of "boys' and girls' clubs". These clubs evolved into the present-day 4-H clubs.
Today, 4-H comprises the largest out-of-school youth program in the United States. The motto of 4-H is "to make the best better". And tens of thousands of students have made themselves better through the 4-H experience.
Yolo County alone has 15 4-H clubs. The 15 Yolo County 4-H clubs involve almost 1,900 children and youth ages 5-19, with 320 adults who act as advisors, fundraisers, council members and the like. Many of the programs deal with raising animals, like sheep, swine and horses. But contrary to popular opinion, it's not all about animals. There are, for example, 64 children involved in the aerospace and rocketry project. These children learn about this science and in the end get to design, build and launch their own 2-liter bottle rockets.
Community service is part of the program as well. For example, some children take on a dog service project, raising puppies for groups such as Guide Dogs for the Blind or Canine Companions for Independence.
In Davis there is also a collegiate 4-H program at UCD. The focus of this program is outreach and community service. The main goal of the program is to set up a conference for high school 4-H'ers to experience college life called "You See UCD Days". High school students are shown student life by spending three days "in college".
The 15 Yolo County 4-H clubs can be found in every nook and cranny of the county, including Davis, Woodland, West Sacramento, Winters, Esparto, Knights Landing, Clarksburg and Zamora. In Davis, three different clubs meet: The Golden Valley 4-H Club meets the first Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m. at Holmes Jr. High School; the Norwood 4-H Club meets the first Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. at Holmes Jr. High School; and the Westfield 4-H Club meets the first Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. in the Blanchard Room of the Yolo County Library in Davis.
For more information on 4-H or joining a local club contact 666-8703 or check the website at http://fourh.ucdavis.edu.