Each year the Weld County 4-H program teaches 900 youth ages 5 – 18 life skills through research based experiential learning projects through 27 4-H community clubs led by 275 volunteer leaders. Another 4,059 youth participated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and learn life skills through school enrichment and after school programs.
More than 50 projects are offered in areas including clothing construction and apparel, foods and nutrition, large and small animal care and training, wildlife, leadership, citizenship, wind power, electronics, model rocketry and many others. 4-H teaches decision making (judging), record keeping, good health practices, public speaking and other life skills. 4-H also involves youth in community service projects.
4-H Mission Statement: 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
The 4-H Youth Development program began in 1902 as a method for teaching rural youth modern farming practices through corn growing clubs for boys and tomato canning for girls. The 4-H program started in Weld County on April 1, 1917. Five-hundred (500) youth were involved in Livestock and crop projects.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 formed the Cooperative Extension Service under the direction of the Land Grant Universities. A partnership between clubs and local Extension agents resulted in 4-H becoming the official Extension youth development program. The 4-H project, teaching life skills (public speaking, record keeping and decision making) and community service taught by volunteer leaders became the foundation of the program.
The 4-H youth development method has been adapted to address the needs of a changing society for ten decades. The program evolved from a rural program to today's program which teaches life skills to 6.8 million youth from all walks of life. Currently less than 10 percent of 4-H members live on a farm.
Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development (Medford, MA) conducted a ten year longitudinal study that showed 4-H members compared to their peers were:
3.4 times more likely to delay sexual intercourse by grade 12
Shown to have significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers
2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active
Report better grades, higher levels of academic competence and an elevated level of engagement at school
Are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college
Girls are twice as likely to participate in science engineering or computer technology
3.4 times more likely to participate in their community
A 2005 Colorado 4-H Study documented youth who are 4-H members are more likely than non 4-H youth to: make good grades in school, have a significant adult in their life in addition to a parent, talk more with parent(s) on a regular basis, have a positive outlook on life, be involved in community service projects, manage money wisely and hold leadership positions in their school. 4-H members are also less likely to use drugs or alcohol, smoke cigarettes, damage property or shoplift. For more information, go to the 4-H Impact Information Sheet(PDF, 92KB)
A 2009 Colorado 4-H Contest Skills study reported youth who participated in Fashion Revue, Judging, Quiz Bowls and Public Speaking contests are more likely to finish what they start, solve problems, make good choices, use time wisely and have more confidence in themselves. More study results are available on the 4-H Impact Study(PDF, 328KB)
Participants in a 2009 Colorado 4-H Alumni study said their 4-H experience was the second greatest influence (family was number one) on their lives. 4-H was ahead of school, work, church, sports, or friends. Furthermore, all 4-H respondents reported completing high school while a majority (55.7 percent) of 4-H respondents completed a bachelor’s degree followed by 17 percent who had received an associate’s or technical degree. Nearly 62 percent of non-4-H responses reported being involved in volunteering activities while 82.9 percent of 4-H respondents are or have volunteered for youth-serving organizations.
The 2010 U.S. Census shows Weld County’s population of youth 5-17 years old is 50,565 representing a 38% increase from 2000 to 2010. The Latino youth population increased by 46% during the same time period. 4-H enrollment in the traditional 4-H Club program has remained consistent at about 900 members. The number of 4-H Full Time Equivalents (FTE) has decreased from 3 FTE to 2.25 during that time. Today a smaller percentage of Weld County youth receive the 4-H experience compared to ten years ago.
According to a 2005 Justice Institute Study it cost $161 per day to place a youth in a Juvenile correctional center. Comparatively, it only costs $.60 per day to support one youth in the 4-H program. Also according to a 2005 Juvenile crimes report 3 out 100 youth Weld County youth have been arrested for committing a crime.
4-H is a positive youth development program with a proven track record of impacting youth to become productive citizens who give back to their communities. Furthermore, youth involved in 4-H are less likely to become involved in a destructive life style or commit a crime. If 4-H keeps one out of 100 youth from entering a juvenile correction center, the savings to society would be $160.40 per day, or $58,546/year. 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential. Youth who participate in 4-H get what young people need to succeed in life: confidence, compassion, connections with caring adults, and skills and opportunities to make contributions to their communities.
To maintain Weld County’s strong agriculture economy young people need to develop skills in production agriculture and leadership. The 4-H program has a strong history of developing these skills and can met future needs.
Increase 4-H youth enrollment by 10 percent, and the number of 4-H volunteer by five percent, per year for the next five years
Provide the 4-H experience (learn by doing) to a broader spectrum of Weld County’s youth population
Teach youth how their food is grown and processed
Foster leadership skills in youth
Establish a $2 million endowment fund with the Weld County 4-H Foundation to hire additional 4-H professional staff
Develop at Farm to Table Food education program for youth
Develop a 4-H agricultural leadership program in collaboration with industry partners
- Platinum Clover – ($100,000 and greater) – individual name placed on Weld County 4-H Recognition Wall (Extension Office), sponsorship banner displayed at all major county 4-H events for five years, names and or logos on Weld County 4-H web pages, listed in all other types of recognition and advertising.
- Gold Clover – ($50,000 – $99,999) – name placed on Weld County 4-H Recognition Wall (Extension Office), sponsorship banner displayed at all major county 4-H events for five years, listed in all other types of project recognition and advertising.
- Silver Clover – ($10,000 – $49,999) name placed on Weld County 4-H Recognition Wall (Extension Office), listed in all other types of recognition and advertising.
- Copper Clover – ($1,000 – $9,999) names listed in all other types of recognition and advertising.
- Bronze Clover – ($1 – $999) names listed in project completion celebration event program and advertisement.
The Funds will be held and invested by the Weld County 4-H Foundation. Income from the principle will fund the Agent position into perpetuity.
Weld County 4-H Foundation Board Members: Tami Arnold (President), Tim Magnuson (Vice President), Rodine Rhoadarmer (Treasurer), Jim Park, Alvie Rothe, Sharon Inloes, Denise Leafgren, Amy Cooksey and Gordon Ledall.
4-H Agent/Foundation Secretary
525 North 15th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80631-2049
There are a few ways to make a donation to the Weld County 4-H Endowed Position. We greatly appreciate your support of Weld County 4-H.