Developing youth and communities

When you support MSU Extension, youth who participate in 4-H programs have a 70 percent greater likelihood to go to college than youth participating in other out-of-school programs.

When you support MSU Extension 4-H programs, youth participants learn life skills that prepare them for the workforce – especially for highly sought-after jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Extension programs help children develop early literacy skills that support school readiness. They learn leadership and decision-making skills in 4-H that increase their likelihood of becoming civically active. 4-H’ers also demonstrate reduced high-risk behaviors such as drug use, and learn to complete tasks, solve problems and seek any help they might need from peers and adults. 4-H involvement also helps participants avoid or reduce involvement with the court system. This helps ensure more young people succeed in school, attend college and contribute to their communities. More successful young people in communities results in greater tax revenues and consumer spending and increases the likelihood that young people will stay in, or return to, their communities.

Extension 4-H clubs connect caring adult volunteers to youth

Through MSU Extension 4-H programs, youth participants learn life skills that prepare them for the workforce and teach them critical life skills.

  • 17 active clubs ranging from livestock to sewing, archery, crafts, babysitting and camps.
  • Potential new clubs that will be starting this fall are a Robotics, Shotgun, Rifle, and Photography.
  • 40 adult volunteers make all clubs successful.

MSU 4-H Exploration Days

A pre-college program where over 2,500 youth from across Michigan learn to become independent and responsible by living in residence halls on the campus of MSU.

  • 40 youth from Ogemaw County took a variety of action-packed classes.
  • Several course choices offer a firsthand experience in a potential career.
  • Youth experience MSU dorms, buses, cafeteria and other aspects of major university life.

4-H Spring Achievement Day

A day of recognition for Ogemaw County 4-H Clubs, youth and adult volunteers that the public is invited to attend.

  • Club members display their personal projects and they are evaluated on their work.
  • Many Cloverbuds-members, aged 5-8, were recognized for their participation.
  • Leader and member recognition pins and certificates were awarded.
  • Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to youth in numerous project areas.
  • Over 200 people were in attendance at the event.

Tolfree Bio Blitz

7th and 8th graders gained a firsthand look at the biodiversity of different plant and animal groups in our community at the Tolfree Foundation Wellness Pan.

  • MSU Extension and 20 partnering organizations within Ogemaw County were involved in the event.
  • Attended by 290, 7th and 8th grade students from Surline, St. Joseph Catholic School and other local private schools.
  • MSUE staff led students in understanding the importance of water quality by identifying macro invertebrates in water samples from the pond at the park. They collected information to carry out a biological inventory.

4-H Forestry Fun Camp

In 2016, Ogemaw MSU Extension natural resource and youth education staff partnered with the MSU Forestry Department and the Michigan Conservation District foresters to offer a pilot 4-H Forestry Day Camp.

  • Youth utilized science and math skills related to forest management and explored a variety of careers in forestry.
  • Participants indicated that they were more knowledgeable about entrepreneurship and career opportunities that youth can pursue in forestry fields. Additionally 90% of youth planned to apply the science knowledge and skills they developed at camp.

Ogemaw County 4-H youth program participants

  • 321 youth members in 4-H Clubs
  • 27 Youth Participated in short term programs
  • 63 Youth attended Camp
  • 491 youth Participated in School Enrichment programs
  • 22 Youth Participated in after school programs
  • Total of 924 4-H Ogemaw youth

Science Education

Youth learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) implications through a variety of projects. Youth explore interests from animal science to aerospace, resulting in increased interest in science at a rate of three times that of non-4-H peers. Interest in science is a predictor for young people to choose science-related careers which are critical to our local, state, national and global economy.

Examples of workshops and programs that have been available to Ogemaw County youth include:

  • Water Quality Utilizing Macroinvertebrate Identification in partnership with the Tolfree Foundation BioBlitz
  • Spooky Science Night
  • Teens As Teachers Science Camp Counselor Training
  • Forestry Camp
  • For more information:

4-H Supervising and Staff Development

Supervising and staff development educators provide training and continuing education for 4-H Program Coordinators. As a program coach, advisor and supervisor for 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinators, this Educator collaborates with others, w or king with staff, faculty, specialists, District Coordinators and Extension Educators to help build skills of 4-H Program Coordinators needed to

  • design, implement and evaluate quality educational programs that provide opportunities for youth to develop life skills needed for success today and in the future
  • recruit, train and manage volunteers who provide support for youth program participants
  • build effective community partnerships
  • effectively manage risk and child safety issues in a variety of educational settings ensuring that programming is available to diverse audiences of individuals and community groups, meets the needs of the clientele and is in alignment with the expectations set by Michigan State University, MSU Extension and the Children and Youth Institute.


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