Record keeping: Determine the tools needed – Part 3

Explore how to keep good records and what tools youth need to get started.

Now that we know the basics of record keeping from article one, the second step in getting started with record keeping is to determine the tools that are needed to help keep records organized and useable. There are many different tools that can be used to make sure your recordkeeping is successful.

The Michigan 4-H program has developed some great tools for 4-H members and leaders to use to keep records. Let’s explore these resources:

Member’s Personal 4-H Record (4H1192)

The purpose of this publication is to help 4-H members plan their 4-H career. It also helps 4-H members record their development and accomplishments during their time in 4-H. This publication also helps parents and leaders guide their members in 4-H through planning and recording.

This publication provides blank forms for the following areas: My 4-H Achievements, Honors and Recognition, My 4-H Citizenship and Community Service Activities, My 4-H Communications Activities, My 4-H Leadership Activities, My 4-H Participation Calendar, My 4-H Projects, My Goals for the 4-H Year, My Non-4-H Activities, Leadership Experiences, Photos and Drawings and Who Am I?

At the beginning of a 4-H career, members should use these pages to develop a notebook (that can be added to year after year) about their 4-H experiences.

Below are two examples of animal project record books.

4-H Animal Project Record for Beginning Members (4H1457)

This four page, fill-in-the-blank formatted project record has space for beginning (first, second and third year) members to record My Project Plans, About My Animal(s), My 4-H Project Pictures, My 4-H Project Experiences, Project Review and Comments and My 4-H Diary or Story. It is designed to help users learn about the importance of maintaining records for 4-H animal projects.

4-H Livestock Record Book for Intermediate and Advanced Members (4H1177)

Members learn to document their work in the livestock project area by using this interactive record book to track the progress of their project animals. Information they can record and track in the book includes weight, feed, expenses, income, rate of growth and show history. Tracking this information can help 4-H'ers improve their animal management practices.

Many county 4-H programs in Michigan have specific animal record keeping books for different animal species. Please check with your county Michigan State University Extension office to see if there is a different record book that members should be using.

The next part of this series of articles will explore what to do now that the information is recorded.

To learn more about record keeping and 4-H, visit your local MSU Extension office.

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