National 4-H Week is made for celebrating

National 4-H Week will be held Oct. 7-13, and La Plata County is celebrating the program’s youths who have made an impact on the community and are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world.

On Friday, 4-H youths will kick off National 4-H Week early to connect with the community at the annual Pine River Valley Heritage Days Trails End Chili Supper. This will take place at 7 p.m. at the Old Middle School Gym in Bayfield.

The La Plata-Montezuma County 4-H Livestock Judging Team will be there to raffle off three great prizes to raise money to attend workouts and contests in preparation for representing Colorado at the National Western Stock Show early next year. The prizes will be a locally raised and processed whole pig, a locally raised and processed ¼ beef and a Husqvarna 240E chain saw. Tickets cost $1.

A big thanks goes to Semler Farms, Sunnyside Meats and Cox Conoco for the donations.

Recent findings from Tufts University’s 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than those not participating in 4-H.

Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H’ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities. In La Plata County, more than 300 4-H members and 100 volunteers are involved in 4-H.

“4-H has allowed me to build self-confidence and be an active member of my community,” said 4-H County President Michael Semler, from Bayfield.

Also during National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youths from around the nation will complete a single, innovative experiment on 4-H National Youth Science Day, which will be held Wednesday. The 2012 National Science Experiment, 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge, explores how robots can be used to preserve and protect the environment, while offering a glimpse into the future of science, technology, engineering and math.

We are pleased to announce that La Plata County 4-H has received funding from the La Plata Electric Association Round-Up Foundation to create a Mobile Robotics Lab to serve our community through our 4-H S.T.E.M Outreach Initiative. This will add a great resource to school enrichment and after-school activities in our region.

Young people in 4-H are a living, breathing, culture-changing revolution for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing our country forward by making a measurable difference right where they live.

Learn how you can join the Revolution of Responsibility at

Finally, last weekend, we hosted our Annual Achievement Night at the fairgrounds with great success.

More than 150 awards were given, ranging from food preservation to overall supreme large livestock.

The majority of awards totaling more than $2,000 were purchased locally to support local businesses.

It will be an exciting 2012-13 4-H year with lots of leadership, life skills and educational opportunities for our youths. or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.