National 4-H week will soon be here. It is coming up on Oct. 6 – Oct. 12. The new 4-H year just started on Sept. 1. Now's a great time to learn more about 4-H, support 4-H or consider joining 4-H.

4-H is a fun, learn-by-doing educational program for youth ages 5-18. It is the youth development program of North Dakota State University Extension and is available in every county in North Dakota. 4-H is a great way for youth to develop communication skills, meet new friends, learn to work with others, work within a community, and so much more!

The purpose of 4-H membership is to give youth an opportunity to learn through hands-on, learn-by-doing techniques. 4-H members learn about leadership, community service and an endless variety of project areas. A few of the project areas include: horticulture, rockets, animal science, quilting, baking, welding, 4-H science, woodworking, outdoor skills, crop production, fiber arts, shooting sports, drawing and painting and many more. Our vision for North Dakota 4-H members is for them to become positive and productive citizens to meet the needs of a diverse and changing society. In fact, research has shown that youth who participate in 4-H are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities, are two times more likely to be civically active, are two times more likely to make healthier choices and are two times more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time.

4-H members can be involved in many different activities and events on the local, state and national levels. Some events include: the county fair, communication arts contest, consumer decision-making contest, project expo, clothing revue, livestock judging, hippology, archery matches, 4-H camps, national trips and many more. Parental involvement is important to a 4-H member's success. Support from parents keep youth interested, enthusiastic and active in the 4-H program. The 4-H program is flexible, meaning that what you put into the program is what you will get out of it. 4-H clubs normally meet about once a month. The 4-H meeting is balanced between business, educational programs and recreation. 4-H meetings normally last about 1 to 1 ½ hours, with the time fairly equally divided among the three parts.

For more information about 4-H, how to join 4-H or become a 4-H supporter, check out the Stutsman County 4-H webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/stutsmancountyextension/4h-and-youth or contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 701-252-9030.