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4-H'ers eager for state fair, national 4-H week Oct. 5-11
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One week each October packs a double thrill for Mississippi 4-H’ers.
National 4-H Week, held Oct. 5-11, overlaps with the Mississippi State Fair, which runs from Oct. 1-12.
This year, 4-H’ers will promote both the state and national events through social media. The theme for the 2014 National 4-H Week is #iam4H.
“We encourage 4-H alumni and current members to participate by posting pictures of themselves holding #iam4H signs to their social media accounts and using the #iam4H and #MS4H hashtags,” said Larry Alexander, 4-H youth development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “It’s a fun opportunity to promote 4-H and the state fair on a worldwide scale.”
Alexander said it is a very busy time for 4-H members, their families, volunteers, Extension agents and 4-H staff.
“In addition to the traditional livestock competitions most people associate with the fair, 4-H’ers submit baked and canned goods, photographs, crafts and robots for competition,” Alexander said. “They compete in a fashion show, a modeling squad showdown and a public speaking event. They promote 4-H at the 4-H Village. Plus, Oct. 11 is 4-H Day at the Fair, and we’ll have special science activities from the National Youth Science Day celebration.”
Last year, 83,812 young people enrolled in the Mississippi 4-H Youth Development program, with nearly equal numbers of boys and girls participating. Nearly 50 percent of those enrolled worked on a project related to healthy lifestyle education or personal development and leadership.
Research shows that participating in 4-H has a significant impact on young people.
Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities. They are twice as likely to pursue healthy behaviors and twice as likely to engage in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) programs outside of school.