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Exciting Times to be in 4-H in Tallapoosa County

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Most people have heard of the 4-H club with many having been in 4-H when they were in school. There has always been a notion that 4-H was about a bunch of cows and pigs and other farm life projects.  Historically, some of that is true but the 4-H program today is much more than when our grandparents were members. The 4-H program in Tallapoosa County, for example, has grown and evolved to something much more exciting and dynamic.

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career development. Nationally, 4-H is known as a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U. S. through experiences that develop critical life skills.    Each 4-H club/program strives to “Make the Best Better” through hands-on, thought-provoking learning.

Over the last two years, the Tallapoosa County 4-H program has seen a major growth in membership and new innovative programs. Over 1,500 youth across Tallapoosa County both the Tallapoosa County and Alexander City School Systems are participating in 4-H clubs.

“A few years ago, we made a commitment to bring back the traditional format of in-school 4-H clubs and make it our number one priority,” said Shane Harris, who has served as the Tallapoosa County Extension Coordinator since 2010. “We are thrilled to begin seeing some amazing results.”

4-H membership in 2016 is expected to exceed 1,600.

But growth in participation numbers is not the only success.  Tallapoosa County 4-H is now offering and introducing so many more programs, projects, activities, and contests than ever before.  Traditional programs and contests like livestock shows, public speaking, woodworking, sewing, photography, and baked foods still exist and are very important.  But 4-H now gives youth opportunities to participate in programs and projects such as backyard chickens, kayaking, shooting sports, dog obedience, rockets, and arts and crafts.  In addition, 4-H programs build life skills and problem solving and exposes our youth to topics which help them become college or career ready. It is ever changing and offering new opportunities.

“So much of what we offer through 4-H is about exposing youth to the world around them; Giving them an opportunity to learn or try something new,” said Deborah Stewart, 4-H Regional Extension Agent. “We now have a new exciting grade specific curriculum for 4th through 7th grades that is both fun and educational.”

4-h-kidSurprisingly, the top requested programs of interest by 4-Her’s are outdoor recreation and animals. This is not just a demand but also a need. In response, new 4-H programs and events are being offered.  4-H Chick Chain, 4-H RiverKids, and 4-H Shooting Sports are three successful programs now available in Tallapoosa County.

“Less and less of today’s youth grow up on farms and are spending time outdoors,” said Shane Harris.  “Tallapoosa County is blessed with so many natural resources but yet 4-H is having to host outdoor recreational opportunities. And kids are just ecstatic when we bring in animals to the cubs or announce animal projects.”

Teachers, youth and parents alike love the new curriculum and direction of 4-H in Tallapoosa County.

“Not a day goes by that Shane and I are not stopped by a child or two when visiting a school to meet with a 4-H club,” said Deborah Stewart.  “They always ask ‘Is 4-H today? or ‘When is 4-H?’.  That always brings a smile because we know we are really making a difference in their lives.”

If you would like to know more about 4-H, become involved with 4-H as a family, or if you would like to volunteer your time, please contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050.  It’s a great opportunity for both youth and adults.

Tallapoosa County 4-H Wraps Up Successful Year

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As any experienced runner can attest, seeing and crossing the finish line of a big race brings a sigh of relief. The Extension agents, volunteers and youth who have been involved with the Tallapoosa County 4-H program this past year have a similar feeling. Mid-summer is the finish line and concludes another 4-H year, and what a year Tallapoosa County Extension has had with its 2015-2016 4-H programs.  We finished this year with a number of notable accomplishments:

  • Last August, we welcomed Deborah Stewart who will serve as the 4-H Regional Extension Agent for Lee and Tallapoosa counties. Deborah brings with her years of elementary education experience.
  • For this school year, we had more than 1,500 4-H members across the county, coming from both the Tallapoosa County and Alexander City school systems. These students got exposure to a number of different agricultural and educational programs, including a new yearly 4-H Club curriculum that was developed by Tallapoosa County 4-H for fourth through sixth grades.
  • We partnered with local organizations for the Living Streams program, which taught 150 sixth graders about the streams in their backyards and the many organisms that can be found in them, as well as how to care for these streams.
  • Local organizations also helped us with Classroom in the Forest, a program that took place at the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. 175 fifth graders got an up-close look at forestland and the treasures that the forest holds.
  • Other local organizations assisted as we hosted 500 fourth graders at Wind Creek State Park for the Water Festival. The participating students were exposed to hands-on activities related to our greatest natural resource—water.
  • The Tallapoosa River Beekeepers Association assisted with a Honeybee program which taught 225 second graders the ins and outs of beekeeping.
  • 4-H’s Chick Chain program was a huge success for Tallapoosa County this year. We distributed more than 750 baby chicks to 42 Chick Chain participants in Tallapoosa County. The participants learn responsibility while caring for and raising chicks.
  •  Tallapoosa County Extension and 4-H agents became certified instructors for two of Alabama 4-H’s newest programs, RiverKids and Sportfishing. Tallapoosa County will be a pilot county for these two programs.
  • There was a record number of contestants in Tallapoosa County’s county 4-H contests, and eight members competed in regional competitions at Troy University. Contestants competed in events like Chef 4-H, public speaking, a photography contest and a baking contest.
  • We welcomed back Trent Carboni for another summer as a 4-H Agent Assistant.
  • Our Tallapoosa County Junior 4-H Forestry Judging Team placed second at the 2016 State Forestry Invitational in Millbrook.
  • This year we had 30 members that attended a three-day 4-H Camp in Columbiana on Lay Lake. Attendees had a great time rock climbing, paddle boarding, building rockets and fishing, just to name a few activities.
  •  Our second annual Kayak Kamp, a part of 4-H’s RiverKids, was a huge success as we had 78 participants who learned about water safety, how to paddle a kayak and navigate the water.
  • There was a new summer program implemented also called Sew Like Us. Sallie Mason, Tallapoosa County Extension’s Administrative Support Associate, helped with this program that taught 12 4-H’ers the basics of sewing a pillowcase and pajamas.
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It’s been a busy and fun year for our 2015-2016 4-H members, agents and volunteers. We are getting geared up for next year and can’t wait to get started!

4-H SportFishing Day on Saturday, June 25th

World's Most Excited Little Fisherman

Tallapoosa County Extension will host a 4-H SportFishing Day on Saturday, June 25th.  That sounds like a lot of fun!  Sadly, some children have never experienced this wonderful outdoor activity; some have NEVER been fishing.  We want to change that.  This 4-H SportFishing Day hopefully will give youth the chance improve their fishing skills and chance to go catch a big one!

The 4-H SportFishing Day will be held in Dadeville at a private pond from 8 a.m. – 12 noon. Youth participants will learn about Fishing Equipment, Casting Skills, Types of Fish,  Type of Baits, and Harvesting & Cleaning Fish.  More importantly, all youth will go fishing and be guided by adults. Cost is $5 for 4-H youth ages 9 to 18 and includes lunch.  Registration deadline is June 24, 2016.  Sign up soon as spots will fill up quickly.

Review this 4-H SportFishing promotional flyer for more details.

A parent or guardian of each participant must complete and sign the:

Completed forms must be turned in to the Tallapoosa County  Extension Office or brought to the event. Space is limited. Contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050 to sign up or for more details.

4-H RiverKids Kayaking Kamps Returns July 6-8

RiverKids 2016

It’s back!!!  After much success last year, the 4-H RiverKids Kayaking Kamp returns on July 6-8th. This fun filled event is designed to introduce youth to the world of paddle sports. The half day program in Dadeville will teach water safety, how to paddle a kayak, and include a fun 2 mile float trip down Sandy Creek. Kayaks, life jackets, and shuttle service are provided. Cost is $10 for 4-H youth ages 9 to 18 (includes lunch and a t-shirt).  Registration deadline is July 1, 2016 and spots will fill up quickly.

Schedule

4-Her’s will participate in a ½ Day Camp. Date and time preference will be assigned upon received registration.

 July 6th   –    Session A   –   7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

July 6th   –    Session B   –   12 noon – 5:30 p.m.

July 7th   –    Session C   –   7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

July 7th   –    Session D   –   12 noon – 5:30 p.m.

July 8th   –    Session E   –   7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Review this Kayaking Kamp promotional flyer & agenda for more details and schedule.

A parent or guardian of each participant must complete and sign the:

Completed forms must be turned in to the Tallapoosa County  Extension Office or brought to the event. Space is limited. Contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050 to sign up or for more details.

Let's Go to 4-H Summer Camp

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Registration is now open for 4-H Summer Camp!  Tallapoosa County 4-H members can have a fun filled experience by going to Summer Camp at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama.   Dates for us are June 20th – 22nd.

4-Her’s will have the opportunity to participate in educational programs and numerous fun and outdoor recreational opportunities including:

  • Archery
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Giant Swing
  • Climbing Wall
  • Fishing
  • Paddle Boards (ages 11-14)
  • Rocketry
  • Robotics (ages 11-14)

Cost is $115 which includes transportation to and from camp, activities, lodging, 6 hot meals, and summer camp t-shirt.

Registration deadline is February 29th. Send payment and registration to 125 N Broadnax St, Rm 23 Dadeville AL 36853. Make checks payable to ACES.

If you have any questions call the Extension office at 256-825-1050.

More information can be found on the promotional flyer.

Extensive details can found at the 4-H Summer Camp website: http://www.aces.edu/4-H-youth/4H-Center/camp/index.php.

2016 4-H Chicken Chain Project

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The 4-H Chick Chain is a fun project where members can acquire their very own backyard chickens.  It is designed to teach 4-H members recommended management practices for growing and raising chickens. Participants in the 4-H Chick Chain project will ….

  • Develop poultry management skills
  • Learn to produce healthy chickens
  • Develop an awareness for business management
  • Develop record keeping skills (income and expenses)
  • Realize the pride of accomplishment

How the Chick Chain Works

Chick Chain youthIn February, 4-H club members receive information about Chick Chain and may then begin signing up to participate. Deposits are then collected and chicks are ordered in March.

In May, participating 4-H members will come to a central location to pick and receive 18 chicks that are 1-2 days old.  They are all pullets (females). 4-H members will receive 3 breeds of chickens, pre-selected from 5 breeds. They all come from a reputable hatchery and are properly vaccinated. 4-H members will then take them home and care for these pullets for approximately 21 weeks.

In the fall, 4-H members will bring the 3 best pullets (of one breed) to the Regional 4-H Chick-Chain Show and Sale (tentatively scheduled-for October 15, 2016; location TBD). If you bring your 3 pullets to the show and sale, you will receive your deposit back, and be eligible for prize money and ribbons. If you have successfully raised all 18 pullets, you will have 15 left. These remaining chickens are yours to keep for egg production or sale.

How to Participate

In order to participate in the 4-H Chick Chain project, follow these simple steps:

1) Start by contacting the Tallapoosa County Extension office and letting us know you wish to participate. Then fill out the online registration form and mail in to:

Tallapoosa County Extension Office

125 N. Broadnax Street, Room 23

Dadeville, AL 36853

Registration and deposit must be received at the Extension Office by Friday, March 4, 2016. The registration form must be signed by BOTH youth and a parent.

2) BOTH youth and a parent must come to your local County Extension Office for a mandatory training. Date are TBD.  At this meeting you will receive valuable information to help you prepare for and raise the pullets you will receive.

3) You will be notified in May of the pick-up date and location for your chicks. Take them home and begin taking care of them. They will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.

4) In September, you will be notified of when and where the Regional 4-H Chick Chain Show and Sale will be held. Invite people in your community to come to the sale. After all, the more people that are there, the more money your chicks will bring!

5) Bring your 3 best pullets of one breed to the Regional Show and Sale and do your best!!

 Who Can Participate?

Any young person between the ages of 9 and 19, as of January 1, 2016 who lives in or attends school in Tallapoosa County is eligible to participate. You do not have to be a current 4-H member to participate; however, you will need to fill out a 4-H enrollment form if you are not a current 4-H member.

References

2015 Blocton Bullets At PPP National Championship

Blocton Bullets National Championship

2015 Bibb County 4-H Club Blocton Bullets At PPP National Championship – Congratulations!!!!

Blocton Bullets  4-H Volunteer is Kandi Smith.

2015 USAS/NRA PPP Eastern Region Gold Medalist – Zachary Miller, Jacob Curren, Bailey Curren and Coach Jim Curren

Bailey Curren USAS/NRA PPP National Championship Eastern Region Bronze Medalist (5th Place Nationally)

Jacob Curren USAS/NRA 2015 National Championship Eastern Region Bronze Medalist & USAS/NRA 2015 National Championship Eastern Overall Bronze Medalist sub jr category.

Zachary Miller made the men’s finals at the Eastern Regional. He qualified in 7th and finished the final in 5th. He finished overall in 9th Eastern Region and 20th in the Nation.

 Bailey was Basic Supported Category.

June 2015 Newsletter

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http://www.aces.edu/pic/pdfsm.gif These stories and more in the latest Bibb County Extension newsletter.

Our first attempt at CYI designation in Fall 2014 was unsuccessful. But as a result of detailed critical feedback from the 4-H State Office and our ability to improve upon our weaknesses, we applied again in early 2015. We were selected for a designation interview on May 22 and awarded CYI Designation immediately after that interview.

You may ask, exactly what is CYI? It is a special designation to recognize excellence in five areas of Alabama 4-H programming.

These areas of excellence are:

  1. Forming a unified Alabama 4-H team and program;
  2. Utilizing consistent research-based curriculum resources;
  3. Diversifying delivery modes tailored to today’s youth;
  4. Promoting plan-of-work development and teamwork at all levels and
  5. Aligning staff and position assignments to support program resources and delivery modes.

Also in this issue:

  • F.A.W. N.
  • Chick Chain
  • Summer Day Camp
  • Deep South Stocker Con-ference Registration
  • Minding Our Future
  • Cookbooks for Sale

 

4-H Summer Day Camp

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The Bibb County Extension Office, in conjunction with many local and regional partners, will host a 4-H Summer Day Camp for Bibb County youth ages 9-18, from 8am-3pm on Tuesday, July 7, Wednesday, July 8, and Thursday, July 9 at Bibb County High School in Centreville.

For the flyer, release, registration and more information, click here:

Bibb County 4-H Summer Day Camp 2015

There is no cost for youth to participate.