Agriculture and financial literacy come together through 4-H | CraigDailyPress.com

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Agriculture and financial literacy come together through 4-H

Andrea Maneotis, right, and her mother, Karen, background, lead Andrea's steer, Omaha, back onto the trailer after being weighed at the Moffat County Fairgrounds in 2014.

Learning how to handle money is a critical life skill that most students are only exposed to outside of the classroom.

In Moffat County, one of the organizations at the forefront of teaching kids financial literacy is 4-H.

J.D. Sexton, 4-H county extension director and agent, said when most people think of 4-H, they think about animals — but it is much more than that and all of the projects involve keeping financial records.

"We just want them to be good citizens," said Sexton, adding that the primary purpose of 4-H is to help kids become contributing members of society.

Anytime a student does a project in 4-H, he or she is required to keep a log of all the expenses. This can be as simple or as complex of a process as it is made by the participant, Sexton said.

Kids who take part in raising livestock are responsible for recording all the costs of raising the animal and how that affects the final profit when the animal is sold at market.

Andrea Maneotis, 17, has been involved with 4-H and raising livestock since she was 8 and has competed at the national level.

She said through the program she has learned an immense amount about raising animals and the financial responsibilities that are attached.

"Pretty much everything that I've learned has been through 4-H and being part of the agriculture industry," she said. "It's just real life."

In April, Colorado celebrated financial literacy and encouraged citizens to be active in planning their financial futures.

"Taking just five minutes to become more aware of your finances could make all the difference when it comes to building and maintaining your financial health," Department of Regulatory Agencies Executive Director Joe Neguse said.

Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District was also engaged in promoting financial literacy with trips to several Colorado high schools throughout April.

"As parents and leaders in our communities, it's important to help develop practical skills and positive associations with money in our young people," Tipton said in a statement. "Programs like these help to further understanding of personal finances and the best practices in money management."

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.