The Jackson County Commission had the opportunity to take a break from routine business and hear some positive news from Jackson County 4-H member Bud Basford. The 12-year-old explained to commissioners how dedicated he was to 4-H and to the care and feeding of his livestock, calves mostly. “I look after the calves every day and care for them,” he explained. “I could talk all day long about 4-H too,” he said. “Because of 4-H, I’ve had the opportunity to be the guest speaker at clubs such as the Chipola Community Club. It’s one of the best opportunities a kid could have.” Basford invited commissioners and the public to visit their Facebook page to “see what they’re all about.”
Basford spoke to commissioners at their July 12 meeting for a few reasons. He was introduced by 4-H volunteer Stacey Warden who was standing in that day for Extension Agent 4-H Angel Granger. “Jackson County 4-H is growing in leaps and bounds,” Warden said. For the first time since 1997, she explained, Jackson 4-H will be sending participants to national competition as a club.
Jackson 4-H will be fielding a four-person team to the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference on Nov. 16-17 in Louisville, Ky. Jackson 4-H consists of more than 200 enrolled youth, 40 adult volunteers and 12 youth volunteers, all who participate in programs outside of the public school system, unlike FFA which is school-based. There are about 10 “clubs” such as livestock, poultry and rabbits, horse and robotics. The robotics club is of interest to students attracted to “STEM” instruction—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Jackson 4-H Livestock Club members Anslie Yoder, Emma Caraway, Caitlin Caudill and Morgan Seale will represent Florida at the 2016 National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference—the Avian Bowl. The team will be joining fellow club member Nathalie Yoder who will be representing Florida in the Poultry Judging Competition, Granger announced on July 11. Yoder, a Calhoun County resident who is with Jackson 4-H because of limited opportunities in Calhoun, was “2nd High Individual in the state,” Granger explained, and that “guaranteed her a spot on the national poultry team.”
Also speaking to the Jackson County Commission on July 12 were Louisville-bound Emma Caraway and Caitlin Caudill. The 4-Hers aimed to give the county an update on events and programs, Granger said in her office Monday afternoon. Another purpose was to give them experience in public speaking. “There is nothing like public speaking to teach them how to sell themselves to others,” Granger said.
Visitors to the Jackson County Ag Center on Penn Avenue will notice an addition to the foyer in front of the auditorium/conference room. Jackson 4-H trophies and ribbons dating back to 1956 “needed to be visible to the public and the new tradition of 4H accomplishments need to be seen as well,” Granger said. “The move in June was right on time--as the next generation of Jackson County 4-H members brings home the hardware!” Upcoming events include: 2016-17 4-H Enrollment or Re-Enrollment on September 1; 2016 Open House on Sept. 13; End of Year Awards Banquet on Sept. 20; Panhandle Youth Expo (PYE) on Oct. 13-15 and 4-H Ag Adventures on Oct. 25-26.
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