Terril D. Faul, Coolman, Denise | 6/11/2005 1:07:37 AM
Hundreds of Louisiana 4-H’ers will converge on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge June 21-24 for the LSU AgCenter’s annual 4-H University events.
About 1,850 youth and adults from across the state are expected to participate in 4-H University – making it one of the largest 4-H events held in Louisiana. This year is the 91st year for the program, which was formerly known as 4-H Short Course.
Terril Faul, head of the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Development Department, said the name was changed before last year’s events to reflect changes in the program.
"The name ‘Short Course’ was switched to ‘4-H University’ because of the many changes that have occurred with the program – including adding non-competitive programs in Clover College and several educational programs for 4-H members in contests," Faul said. "At 4-H University, 4-H members have an opportunity to meet youth from around the state to enhance their 4-H participation and to develop life skills in working with other youth and adults."
Objectives for 4-H University are for 4-H’ers to become better acquainted with Louisiana State University and career opportunities; to supply young people with satisfying civic and social experiences; to recognize accomplishments of 4-H’ers; to help youth improve communication, decision-making, teamwork and competence in various subjects; and to offer youth competitive and non-competitive opportunities.
In addition to taking part in classes and contests, 4-H’ers will hear from former 4-H’ers who have used what they learned in 4-H to help them succeed in life. Jennifer DuPont, 2004 Miss Louisiana and 1st Runner-Up to Miss America 2005, will speak to the 4-H’ers during the June 22 evening program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. DuPont credits much of her success to what she learned in 4-H. She said she strongly believes the four Hs in 4-H – Head, Hands, Heart and Health – have helped her achieve success.
"The four Hs in 4-H have been a part of my past and present and will be a part of my future," Dupont said. "Being in 4-H enabled me to develop my social and leadership skills and my love for service. It also taught me to set goals for myself and strive to achieve those goals."
4-H’ers attending 4-H University also will hear from Dr. Rick Rigsby from Texas A&M University. Rigsby is a motivational speaker who addresses issues such as character, teamwork, excellence, leadership and effective communication. He is scheduled to speak during the opening session, which begins at 7:30 p.m. June 21.
This year’s 4-H University also features a noncompetitive educational track known as Clover College, which includes six educational programs consisting of seven hours of instruction. They include Salute To Service!; Leadership Blast; The 4-H Apprentice: An Exciting Entrepreneurial and Teambuilding Program; Character Counts, Everywhere, All the Time; Communications; and "Real World" Simulation.
4-H’ers also will attend educational programs dealing with issues such as dating, peer pressure, drugs and alcohol use, agriculture, teen health and fitness, community service projects, and the juvenile justice system. In addition, some of them will tour LaHouse, a home and landscape resource center being constructed by the LSU AgCenter. LaHouse showcases sustainable housing and landscaping that is resource-efficient, durable, healthy, convenient and practical.
The theme for 4-H University is "The Time Of Your Life."
Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said he hopes everyone attending this year’s 4-H University has "the time of their life," adding that the relatively new name for these events reflects changes in the program that organizers believe will better benefit participants.
"Learning from every experience is important," Coreil said. "All of us in the LSU AgCenter hope 4-H’ers will find more than just the name of this annual event has changed. We hope the 4-H’ers will find the changes also reflect many more opportunities for them to learn, to experience new things, to interact with one another and, in general, to enjoy their time at 4-H University and on the LSU campus."
For more information on 4-H University, go to http://lsuagcenter.com/en/kids_teens/4H/for+4h+members/4H+U/.