Kids give 4-H 3 cheers

Registration for program open; director: It's not just about livestock

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'Tis the season for signing up.

With the holidays behind them, 4-H organizers are hitting high gear with recruitment.

Four-H, known best as an agriculture and livestock group, now includes a wide variety of offerings, said Alisa Comstock, 4-H/youth development agent.

Project choices include baking, sewing, rocketry, leather craft, fishing and nearly everything in between. The traditional livestock projects still are a staple of the Moffat County Fair in August, when participants exhibit their work.

New projects this year include a disc golf club, led by Elisa Shackelton, Colorado State University Moffat County Extension director; a dog agility group, led by obedience adviser Glenna Grandbouche; and news writing, taught by Craig Daily Press staff members.

Youths ages 8 to 18, as of Jan. 1, are eligible for 4-H. Enrollment is available year round, but organizers ask that participants sign up by the end of January. Some groups begin meeting this month.

Last year, 4-H consisted of 266 members, many of whom enrolled in more than one project.

Comstock said 4-H members learn many skills and values through the program, which teaches participants new crafts, but also requires community service and project-related demonstrations.

"They learn responsibility, how to interact with others positively and confidence," Comstock said.

Alexi Goodnow, 9, who's in her second year of 4-H, said she meets new friends through the program and goes on field trips such as the one for 4-Hers on Monday at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center.

Plus, Alexi likes to compete against her 12-year-old sister, Makayla Goodnow.

Last year, Alexi beat her sister in their shared market weight class. But that's a rare occurrence, Makayla said.

Regardless, the girls said 4-H is a fun program, and one that's educational.

"It teaches me a lot about respect for animals," Alexi said. "It teaches me how to take care of them."

For youths not old enough for 4-H, the Cloverbuds group offers similar experiences for children ages 5 to 7.

For more information on 4-H or Cloverbuds, call the extension office at 824-9180 or visit 539 Barclay St.

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