Beyond the Livestock: Moffat County 4-H registration opens |

Beyond the Livestock: Moffat County 4-H registration opens

Ryan Higgs / For Craig Press
Ashlyn Skufca and her horse, Blaze, wait their turn in the show ring during the 4H/Future Farmers of America Horse Show at the 2018 Moffat County Fair.
Sasha Nelson/staff

For more than a century, Moffat County residents and youth participants have engaged in positive developmental experiences and valuable life lessons such as cattle showing and livestock breeding through involvement in 4-H.

But, Jessica Counts, who is the Colorado State University extension director for Moffat County, said that misconceptions about the program and its focus exist. A common misconception about 4-H, she said, is that their program is solely focused on livestock projects, when in fact, the scope of their program has multitudes of focus.

“In our community, we have a very strong livestock group of kids that compete on the state and national levels,” she said. “But, we have somewhere around 40 projects that the state for each office sets out. And, there’s just about everything that’s included [such as] food preservation, cooking, robotics and computer science.”

In addition to 4-H projects such as clothing construction, woodworking, and filmmaking, she said that the program created a new project – Beekeeping – which will be included this year, while cake decorating component is revised. The projects, she said, were added because families in the program and in the community supported them.

Currently, Moffat County 4-H registration is accepting applicants until the deadline March 31, according to Counts. Registration, which is broken into two tiers based on registrant age, is available to clover bud participants between the ages of five and seven-years-old, and traditional members between the ages of five and 18-years-old.

However, registration fees have been reduced this year, she said, due to a contribution by United Way.

The contribution, she said, allowed a reduced fee of $20 and $10, respectively, for traditional and clover bud participants. She said if funding by United Way was not available that registration fees would be $40 and $20.

Jackie Goodnow, who is the administrative director of Moffat County 4-H, says that a significant aspect of the program, however, is the community development and interaction component. She says through the 4-H program community members, parents, and leaders and community volunteers are able to interact with one another.

Counts says that there have been 4-H participants in the community that come from homeschooling backgrounds and those that lack certain social components occurring at the school. And, at the core, it’s about community building.

“It’s not just for those who are livestock kids,” Counts said. “It is open opportunity to equal opportunity and open to everybody and there is something of interest and benefit to everyone in our community.”

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