4-H Youth Development

Charles Hebert, Arnould, Angela R.

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4-H in Lafayette Parish is a part of a local, state, national and international youth program. The program was established as a three way partnership between the national government, United States Department of Agriculture; the state government through the land grant university, Louisiana State University and the local government, both Lafayette Consolidated Government and the Lafayette Parish School Board. It is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States.

4-H is a FUN and exciting youth organization that offers hands-on learning or experiential learning as the foundation of the program. This occurs through project work, method demonstrations, contests, workshops, junior leader club activities, camps and service activities or service learning.

The national campaign of the program is “4-H is a community of young people…across America…who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.” It was selected as a consistant message from 4-H members across the country, when asked to describe what was 4-H.

Membership is open to all children in Lafayette Parish who are 9 years of age before January 1 of the current year and not passed their 20th birthday on January 1.  The program is open to all people regardless of race, color, gender, age, handicap, religion or national origin. A monthly club meeting is held at approximately fifty-five (55) schools in the parish. The 4-H agents conduct monthly series educational programs in public, private and community clubs. Club members elect officers (president, vice president, secretary, reporter, treasurer and program leader) who, with the volunteer leaders’ assistance, plan educational activities, service projects or service-learning and conduct club meetings each month. Parents may contact their child’s school 4-H club leader to assist in various roles and capacities. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to assist our school teachers in their role as 4-H leader.

4-H agents in our parish develop and execute educational programs and activities that provide youth the opportunity to develop such life skills as self-esteem, community and citizen responsibility, decision making, organization and social interaction. These characteristics allow youth the self confidence and communications skills to achieve the 4-H Mission. Our mission is through non-formal, research based, experiential education activities; 4-H participants gain knowledge and life skills enabling them to become positive, productive, capable and compassionate members of their communities.

Agents are assisted in this capacity by staff members of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) by state and regional programmatic specialist of the Cooperative Extension Service. The success of our local program is due to the tremendous success of our school teachers that serve as organizational leaders, parent volunteers and other volunteers that continue to share their time, talents and special touch with the youth of the program. Many of these serve in various capacities such as members of advisory leadership councils (ALC) and/or committees, project leaders, contest day judges, etc. Through these leadership roles, adults as well as youth volunteers serve as equal partners in the decision making process.

Annual enrollment begins in September through October of each school year. Members complete an enrollment card by selecting at least one project and pay their annual membership dues. A variety of parish events that consists of contest and activities are conducted throughout the program year September through August. These contests are open to only 4-H members. Project books are given out to each member in either October or November of each year. They provide a variety of activities in a specific area for the member to work on at home or with fellow members in the same area. We advise parents to lead by example in the areas of support through motivation; encouragement and guidance.

The following agents are responsible for the 4-H program in Lafayette Parish. For specific project questions related to subject matter, see the list below. If you have other general questions, please send an email to contact them.

 Angie Arnould  Charles Hebert Nikki Mouch
  Dog Care / Pet Care   Aerospace   Child Development & Family Life
  Environment / Shooting Sports / Hiking
  Bicycle     Beef
Computers Citizenship
  Forestry / Wood Science   Electric Energy   Clothing
  Horticulture   Fishing Sports   Communications


  Horse   Dairy
  Leadership   Machines    Foods & Nutrition
Photography Personal Development Goats
  Plant Science   Theatre Arts   Health
  Poultry        Home Environment
  Rabbits       Sheep

Monthly newsletters are given out along with contest rules at the club meetings. The newsletters can also be accessed at various sub-channels of our web site.  They   include assignments for first-time members to complete their projects and announcements of workshops as well as a wide variety of educational activities. Many parents guide their children and have found these to be extremely educational.

When members have completed their project book, they can request additional books by calling our office. Record book competition is another way to get members motivated to highlight their yearly accomplishments. Project books are usually due in late February of each year. These books are judged and outstanding members are recognized for their accomplishments.

Parents may contact their child’s school 4-H club leader at the school to assist in various capacities. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to assist our school teachers in their role as 4-H leader. The more volunteers that support and assist a club, the more individual time and attention that can be spent in shaping the lives of the youth.

For more information on the Lafayette Parish 4-H club program, please contact the Lafayette LSU AgCenter at (337) 291-7090.

3/21/2006 12:20:26 AM
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