4-H University and Clover College featured a ‘star-studded’ theme this year celebrating the more than 1,400 students participating in 43 contests, 12 Clover College educational sessions and other educational programs. The 4-H premier teen event is held over three days on the LSU campus from June 19-21.
Seventeen Madison Parish delegates selected to participate in either a 4-H University contest or a Clover College educational track. 4-H University features contests representing areas such as consumer judging, child development, fashion revue, food science, public speaking and demonstrations in over 40 subject matter areas. Clover College offers non-competition sessions on such topics as using credit wisely, bioengineering, forensics and personal development.
Known as 4-H Short Course by many 4-H Alumni, this re-designed state-wide event encourages youth to explore their interests and potential career development paths as well as meet and develop friendships with other teens from throughout the state in a safe and inclusive environment. In addition to contests and educational activities, Megan Marsh and Billy Dew served as Voting Delegates representing the parish in electing the 4-H state officers and members of the state 4-H executive committee.
A $1500 donation from Madison Farm Bureau helped defer costs for each Madison Parish 4-H delegate this year. “Since the cost of 4-H University is over $150 per person, not including meals throughout the four days of travel, these funds go a long way to sponsor youth participation in this event” according to Karol Osborne, LSU AgCenter Youth Development Agent. “We appreciate the Farm Bureau’s continued support for this valuable youth development opportunity.
Delegates are busy throughout each day attending workshops, tours, or completing competition requirements, ending each night with an assembly and dance. During Wednesday evening assembly, Madison volunteer C. L. Keene was recognized along with eleven others recently inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. He was represented at the ceremony by his wife, Ann, who was also honored the previous afternoon at the 4-H Awards Banquet with the Gold Clover Award for contributions to 4-H through the Louisiana 4-H Foundation. The event culminates on Thursday night with the announcement of contest winners.
Six local youth entered three contests this year. Ma’Kayla Diggs and CeLayra McClodden prepared for the Consumer Foods Judging Contest, and Tamaria McNeal and Freddricka Singleton trained in the Consumer Decision-making Contest. Megan Marsh and Billy Dew competed in the Child Development workshop and contest.
Madison Clover College delegates joined over 200 youth in workshops and seminars. Nichole Davis, Kiara Farmer and Darvella Robinson took a closer look at crime scene investigation in Forensics, the First 48. Markeia Hicks, Alaysia Hicks, John Harris and Christopher Marsh learned more about nutrition and health in the Eat for the Health of It! seminar series. Sierra and Serenity Horsley chose the SIMSOC track and learned how to build strong communities through citizenship simulations, while Chelsea Greene took a Walk on the Wild Side exploring the worlds of forestry, wildlife and fisheries.
“The opportunity to spend the week on the LSU campus is something 4-H members look forward all year. They gain extreme exposure to real-life responsibilities, like budgeting their money, being on time and being prepared,” said Osborne. Volunteer Shelia Jobe accompanied the group, transporting youth to and from the campus and providing leadership and supervision.
4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Land-Grant University System and is a dynamic effort designed to build citizenship, leadership and life skills. In Louisiana, it is administered by the LSU AgCenter. For more information about 4-H and other LSU AgCenter programs, contact the Madison Parish AgCenter office at 114 N. Cedar or call 574-2465.