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HOW DO YOU JOIN 4-H?
Traditional 4-H programs are delivered through community clubs, which are led by volunteers. Clubs may focus on animal projects, community service, science, healthy lifestyles or more. All clubs provide opportunities to engage positively in the community using leadership and citizenship skills gained through 4-H. Because clubs are led by volunteers, every county and club is different. Contact your local UMaine Cooperative Extension county office in Skowhegan to learn more about what opportunities are available in your area.
Why join 4-H?
For a century, 4-H has been a leader in positive youth development, providing hands-on educational and leadership programs. Since its beginning in Maine in 1913, 4-H has emphasized the importance of building the life skills needed to be successful adults. Today, 4-H also is focused on science and technology to foster interest in these areas as avenues to successful careers.
Somerset County 4-H worked with the Skowhegan Farmer's Market to interview local farmers about the rewards and challenges they may face and produced a DVD, 4_H Youth Entrepreneurship Local Food Producer Interviews and shared it both locally and statewide with 4-H groups to encourage youth to explore farming as a career option. The University of Maine is also using the DVD as a resource as part of their NEW Farmers Program.
4-H Clubs participate in local community service projects. Some of this year's projects include: providing gift baskets to senior citizens and needy families, Christmas stockings for a men's shelter, fundraising for animal welfare organizations, and roadside clean-up.
Twenty two volunteers and 134 youth are involved in 12 somerset County 4-H clubs, 3 after school programs and 9 independent units where they learn life skills and participate in community service activities. Research studies document that 4-H youth have higher high school grades, and are more likely to go to college than youth engaged in other out-of-school programs. During 4-H programs like Engineering Day and 4-H @ UMaine, youth visit UMaine campuses and interact with faculty and college students. We also encourage youth to continue their education by providing 5 county scholarships to youth who attend college.
The Somerset County 4-Hers show off their newfound skills and project successes at the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the Skowhegan State Fair every year in August. The hall recently had over 7,079 visitors who saw 4-H individual and educational exhibits. The 4-H livestock shows, including horse, working steer, sheep, swine, goats, beef and dairy cattle, provide an opportunity to create interest for youth in the agricultural sector of Somerset County.