Christina Zito-Hebert, Boldt, David M., Bergeron, Christine, Powell, Ashley, Boe, Esther C., Hebert, Lanette G., Devall, Hannah, Zak, Claire, Tuck, Patrick, Fox, Catherine, O'Malley, Adam, Lepley, Toby, Franks, Meggan
Volunteering can make a significant difference in an individual's life or in a community or state. This year Louisiana 4-H added multiple opportunities to participate in various days of service, enabling youth and adults to make a greater impact on their community.
The Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center has been a staple in the Louisiana 4-H community for almost a century. On Aug. 27, 2020, Grant Walker suffered significant damage from Hurricane Laura. Although Camp Grant Walker pivoted to a virtual 4-H Summer Camp in 2020, six weeks later the camp suffered another major setback because of severe flooding during Hurricane Delta. As 4-H Summer Camp is completely at capacity, serving over 4,000 youth each summer, the 4-H Youth Development Program is looking forward to exploring this great program alternative in future years as a way to reach additional youth.
Innovation Meets Opportunity
In a world of movers, makers and shakers, the Louisiana 4-H Program is on the hunt for innovative, business-minded students to compete in the 4-H University Tiger Tank Entrepreneurship Contest. Each summer, 4-H’ers with entrepreneurial spirits have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to some of the savviest “Tigers” — or judges — in Louisiana.
While it wasn’t done in consecutive years, the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports Program has once again been crowned national champions and defended the title it won in 2019.
4-H highlights outstanding alumni and their adventures and careers.
Every year 4-’ers make a pledge to devote their “hands to larger service,” promising to step back from their own personal needs and serve others. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as natural disasters of hurricanes and flooding, led the 4-H community to numerous service opportunities. The pandemic is a major cause of trauma in young people in many areas of the country, but in Louisiana, many young people are coping with an extra burden — the psychological effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Agriculture education programs do not only teach students how to be gardeners and farmers. They also train tomorrow’s scientists, nutritionists, teachers and health professionals. Applied ag education programs with hands-on learning are important to help young people gain knowledge.
Lesson study is a community of practice in which a team of educators takes an active role in collaboratively planning, teaching, observing and revising a series of connected lessons. Louisiana 4-H agents have embraced the practice of lesson study, and they are growing professionally while teaching youth in a purposeful and strategic manner.
For over 100 years, Louisiana 4-H has provided enriching, hands-on experiences for our youth — and others have noticed. This has led to 4-H agents and specialists becoming leaders for youth development outreach and opportunities in their communities and across Louisiana.
When traditional Louisiana 4-H summer camps were forced to cancel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of fourth through seventh grade students lost the opportunity to attend camp. Across the nation, COVID-19 signaled an urgent need to transform 4-H programs to remain viable in this new socially distanced reality. Louisiana 4-H answered the call through many avenues, one of which was a highly successful Virtual Summer Camp, which included Virtual BBQ Bootcamp.
Jessica Parker was taken by surprise when she heard the news that she was chosen as the 2021 Southeast Region 4-H Volunteer of the Year. This National 4-H Council honor is bestowed upon a 4-H volunteer. Parker was nominated by Franklin Parish 4-H Agent Kelly Lafferty.
Kathleen “Kathy” Landry has been involved in the Louisiana 4-H program for more than 40 years. Her involvement as a 4-H member instilled in her a spirit of service that continues to this day. Landry started her 4-H career as a member more than 40 years ago in Iberia Parish, where she participated in several projects, from livestock to clothing.
Each year thousands of adults provide time, expertise and resources to reach youth in all communities of the state, enabling them to develop the essential life skills needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. This year several volunteers and retired staff were honored at the state, regional and national level for their service to Louisiana 4-H and communities across the state.
“Where’s the beef?” For Union Parish 4-H’ers that’s an easy question to answer, thanks to a partnership formed with a local veterinarian. For the past two years, Drs. Charles “Chuck” and Ashley Edwards have teamed up with Union Parish 4-H Agent Brandon Reeder to conduct grilling workshops utilizing beef and pork products.
The 4-H horse project is a well-known and beloved project that encourages mastery inside and outside of the arena. During the LSU AgCenter State Horse Show, 4-H’ers can qualify for the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show Championship held in Perry, Georgia, at the end of July. Students may qualify through riding events as well as the educational contests held during the state show at the Lamar Dixon Exposition Center in Gonzales, Louisiana, in mid-July.
The Meraux Foundation is the 2021 Legacy Donor, and the 2020 4-H Foundation Legacy Award was given to Cleco.