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4-H representatives review program with Price's mayor, council

Ron Patterson and his daughter Katelyn speak to the Price city council about the local 4-H club.

By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor

Local 4-H representatives Ron Patterson and his daughter, Katelyn, approached the Price City Council last Wednesday to inform the community about the impact the national program has on participants.

According to the group's website at www.4-h.org, the organization consists of a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. The 4-H community also includes 3,500 staff, 518,000 volunteers and 60 million alumni.

"Four-Hers participate in fun, hands on learning activities, supported by the latest research of land-grant universities, that are focused on three areas," explains the site.

Mission mandates of the club include:

•Science, engineering and technology.

•Healthy living.

•Citizenship.

"You get to do so many great activities as a member of 4-H," pointed out Katelyn Patterson to the council. "We have gone to the adventure camp above Logan and to a mock legislature where we were taught the process of our government and given the opportunity to vote on bills and other legislation. Every Utah Education Association we are sent to conference to learn leadership skills and we also compete. At the end of our yearly adventure, county 4-H teams compete against other areas in the state."

According to Ron Patterson, the 4-H symbol is the third most recognizable logo n the country and has supported the youth in Castle Valley for many years with the help of Utah State University Extension.

"We didn't come before the council to ask for anything. We just wanted to let you know what an asset 4-H is to the youth of this area and how much we love to see these kids succeed," said Ron Patterson.

Patterson let city officials know that there is always a need for individual volunteers as more and more kids become interested in joining.

The club didn't really start in one place. It began around the start of the 20th century in the work of several people in different parts of the United States who were concerned about young people.

The national 4-H site stipulates that the seed of the club came from the desire to take a hands on approach to making public school education more connected to country life.

Nearing it's 50th anniversary, 4-H began to undergo several changes.

In 1948, a group of American young people went to Europe and a group of Europeans came to the United States on the first International Farm Youth Exchange.

Since then, thousands of young people have participated in 4-H out-of-state trips and international exchanges.

Later the basic club focus became the personal growth of the member.

Life skills development was built into 4-H projects, activities and events to help youth become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society. As a last change, the club combined everyone into a single category in the 1960s.

Locally, 4-H is sponsored by the Utah State University and anyone interested in joining the club can go online at www.utah4-h.org to obtain information about joining.

Utah's portion of the club offers a variety of scholarships to 4-H members to help offset the cost of attending college.

Each year, the amount and number of scholarships depends on the availability of funds and the status of the applicant pool.

During the 4-H presentation, officials discussed the yearly farmers market and whether or not Price city could become the fiscal agent for the growing event.

City financial officer Pat Larsen would not commit Price to the project, but requested a meeting with Patterson concerning the particulars of the agreement. If Price were not to take on the project, city officials recommended that Patterson contact the community development corporation as a local fiscal agent.




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