Investing in Marquette County Youth with 4-H

Over 2,000 youth participated in 4-H and other MSU Extension youth development programs in 2018.

In the 2017-18 4-H year, Marquette County had 98 4-H volunteers, 206 4-H members, including 14 teen volunteers, enrolled in the program. In addition, 2,094 youth ages 5-19 participated in learning opportunities with MSU Extension, including 4-H fun through summer day camps and school enrichment programming such as the Chinese Children’s Art Exchange, Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation.  
According to research completed by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University,
4-H’ers are four times more likely to make contributions to their  communities, two times more likely to be civically active, and two times more likely to make healthier choices.

4-H Capitol Experience

Capitol Experience is an annual four-day conference preparing youth for active citizenship by focusing on civic engagement and public policy. Youth all over Michigan converge on Lansing to experience state government in action learning how they can influence policy issues. Participants also interact with legislators, state agency staff, lobbyists and other resource people to learn how policy is made.   
Youth from Marquette County participate in this state-level event annually, and in 2018 Marquette County youth Guinevere Himes attended the program. Post-event evaluations revealed statistically significant gains in youth’s civic participation, leadership, and facilitation skills. Youth also reported feeling more comfortable and confident in their ability to communicate.

Youth development through 4-H clubs

The 2nd Annual Livestock workshop was held on June 8th at the Marquette County Fairgrounds. MSU Extension Staff, Dave Radloff and Melissa Elischer, presented information about marketing their livestock projects, large animal care and well-being, as well as veterinary ethics.

Extension Specialist Melissa Elischer presents on animal care, well being and veterinary ethics.

4-H volunteers, presented on care and well-being, and showmanship of rabbits and chickens, as well as horse care and preparation for a horse show. Rabbits, chickens, and horses were on-site, providing youth with hands-on learning and practice in animal care and showmanship.

Susan Korpi, 4-H club leader, teaches youth about chickens.

Twenty-six youth and 16 parents participated. The younger youth felt they had gained new skills with regard to all the classes they participated in- we have several youth who were too timid to show rabbits and chickens last year that feel better prepared and want to try this year. 

F.A.S.T 4-H Club met two Fridays per month through May of 2018. As a home school group, they provided many fun classes for their 53 members, including cooking, sewing, dissection, and a teen leadership class for their oldest youth. This leadership class was taught by 4-H project leader, Michelle Taylor, and 4-H program coordinator, Liana Graves. The 17 participants learned about parliamentary procedure and running. The F.A.S.T 4-H Club teen leadership class held officer elections. Participants who wanted to hold a leadership position created promotional materials and gave a speech in front of the class. A ballot election was held for club officers.

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