Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development (4-HYD) will spend 2014 celebrating 100 years of positive youth development programming.

Since 1914, Wisconsin 4-H has helped youth grow the leadership, critical thinking and communications skills necessary to be successful in a constantly changing world.

Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development is part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, and 4-H programs are delivered in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture and federal, state and local governments. 4-H has its roots in youth corn and agriculture clubs, which helped researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, share the latest agriculture developments with farmers by teaching their children.

Just seven youth attended the first 4-H club meeting in Walworth County on October 30, 1914. Today, more than 35,000 youth are enrolled as community club members, and nearly 50,000 young people are involved in 4-H through in school and after school clubs, day camps, mentoring programs and other opportunities. All Wisconsin 4-H programs are supported by the hard work of more than 20,000 youth and adult volunteers. Wisconsin 4-H programs continue to emphasize lifelong learning and a strong connection with the University of Wisconsin, and programs are available for all interests including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), agriculture and animal science, arts and communications, leadership, healthy living, international exchange and more.

On March 19th, nine Douglas County 4-H members and volunteers travelled to Madison to join over 800 other 4-H supporters from across Wisconsin for the Wisconsin 4-H Day at the Capitol. Participants included Deanna Wahlquist, Katie Stenroos, Nicole Greely, Callie Lier, Sarah Wahlquist, Nola Stenroos, Hannah Lier, Patty Lier and Joan Wimme, 4-H Youth Development Educator. The day was centered on visiting state legislators to talk about 4-HYD, a Noon rally at the Capitol and a celebration of Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development.

April will be Wisconsin 4-H Statewide Service Month and August 5, 2014 is Wisconsin 4-H Day at the State Fair. Douglas County 4-H will also celebrate the Wisconsin 4-H Centennial at local events throughout the year, including 4-H at the Fair! during the Head of the Lakes Fair from August 19-24, 2014. Check out http://blogs.ces.uwex.edu/4hcentennial/ to learn more about the last 100 years of Wisconsin 4-H.

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