4-H: not just cows, plows, and sows!

Don’t have room in your backyard for a large animal? Not interested in traditional agricultural topics? THAT’S OK!  4-H has something for you too.

First a quick 4-H history lesson: Have you heard the term “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Educators early on knew this was the case. They understood that rural farmers and ranchers would be hesitant to try new technologies. So they began to teach youth! The idea was these youth would adopt new practices and try new things-and their parents would take notice. “Corn Growing Clubs” began to pop up across the country and this was essentially the birthplace of 4-H. When the Cooperative Extension Service was created by the Smith-Leaver Act of 1914, the 4-H organization was nationalized. By 1924 clubs were officially organized, the clover symbol was adopted, and has grown to become the largest positive youth development organization in the nation.

Because of its history in agriculture and home economics, many people still feel that this is all 4-H has to offer-and they would be wrong! Montana 4-H serves over 25,000 youth ages 6-18, in over 100 projects.

While maintaining growth in traditional “AG” projects (Horse, Swine, and Shooting Sports projects are among the largest in our county), Gallatin County has been promoting 4-H with less traditional audiences through robotics, dog agility, and our new 4-H music project. 4-H is completely adaptable to fit whatever passion your child has. We even offer a “self-determined” option where your child can create a project that fits them. Gallatin County alone has over 500 4-H youth, with 25 project groups and another 25 clubs that meet monthly. We couldn't run these program without the hardwork and dedication of more than 125 adults volunteers.

We would love the opportunity to chat with you and your child about the possibilities of 4-H. Please call our office at 388-3213.

**Speak Out with Art-April is Month of the Military Child and youth have been participating in a four series art workshop hosted by Gallatin County 4-H, Operation: Military Kids, and the Belgrade Community Library. Artwork created during this series will be on display the Belgrade Community Library during the month of May with a PUBLIC ART SHOW OPENING on May 2nd from 5-7pm. The public is invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

KBZK just aired a great story about this arkwoshop series. Check it out here:


**READ to a Dog (Saturday April 16th) at the Belgrade Community Library from 11:15 to 12:15. This regularly scheduled event allows youth to read to a trained dog in a comfortable, non-threatening environment. Use books from the library or bring your own. To commemorate Month of the Military Child we will have books on deployment, and military life available for those kids who have a loved one in the military. All youth are invited and this event is FREE.