4-H has big day at State Fair of Louisiana

Karen Martin, Van Osdell, Mary Ann  |  11/1/2008 1:37:15 AM

News Release Distributed 10/31/08

They celebrated and educated at the 2008 State Fair of Louisiana 4-H Fun Day Oct. 29.

Featured activities included the 4-H Express, the Ark-La-Tex Ag Council Junior Livestock Sale, the launch of a new children’s Web site, a Platoon Patrol skit for pre-schoolers and a Louisiana 4-H Foundation drawing for $10,000.

This year’s fair was dedicated to 4-H to help celebrate the centennial of the youth organization. The theme was “Celebrate and Educate.”

A large 4-H tent with music, educational information and special activities for each decade of 4-H attracted 1,600 participants, said Karen Martin, northeast and north central regional 4-H coordinator for the LSU AgCenter. Visitors included elementary school, middle school and high school students with their teachers and chaperons.

In the tent, 4-H agents served as conductors, and a train whistle blew when it was time for classes to move between exhibits that featured events important to the 100-year history of 4-H in Louisiana.

Southwestern Electric Power Co. sponsored kits for teachers to take back to the classroom for additional activities.

The first stop on the express was the cotton area where students made necklaces of dampened cotton and a pinto bean in a small zip bag. As they wear them around their necks, they can watch the bean sprout. The Union Parish Farm Bureau helped with this exercise.

In the 1920s area, students learned about forestry as they rubbed stencils to make colorful leaves.

As they moved on through the decades, the students learned about chickens and their life cycle, World War II-era victory gardens, 1950s fashions, insects, healthy foods, wetlands and water conservation, outdoor skills and science, and engineering and technology.

The LSU AgCenter mobile communication unit outside the tent featured laptop computers where students could check out a new Web site – Louisiana 4-H Kids’ Clubhouse – that was officially launched at the fair. Tailored to fourth- through sixth-graders, www.4-Hclubhouse.com features games and activities, downloads and videos.

Following the livestock show, winning market hogs, steers, goats and poultry were auctioned to buyers represented scores of area companies. Guest auctioneers included Dr. Mike Strain, Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover. KPXJ broadcast the auction.

In the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on the Fair Grounds, Platoon Patrol featured the LSU AgCenter’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program staff in military uniforms. They delivered a message on rules for a healthy heart that included regular exercise, a low-fat/high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of water and milk.

The team used music to teach the lessons.

It will be repeated Nov. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The fair runs through Nov. 9 in Shreveport.

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Contact: Karen Martin at (318) 927-2578 or kmartin@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell at (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or mvanosdell@agcenter.lsu.edu

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