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4-H shows how it can teach kids and parents

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By Steve Waters, Sports Editor

The Levy County 4-H clubs kicked off the official beginning of their year with an Annual Roundup this past Saturday at the IFAS Extension office in Bronson.  The clubs showed potential members the benefits of joining 4-H, which is celebrating its 100th year in Florida, by holding shooting and archery exhibitions, as well as a barbecue chicken cook-off for kids. Albert Fuller, extension director for 4-H in Levy County, said the Annual roundup was a big recruitment tool for the local clubs, averaging about 100 to 150 enrollments every year. “This provides us with a jump start every year,” Fuller said. “Parents and kids can see the what they’re going to participate in. Both new and returning people now know what’s happening.” The 4-H and FFA in Levy County also work with the University of Florida, so children and parents get an opportunity to learn, Fuller said. “It’s an opportunity projects that they might not have an opportunity to do,” Fuller said. “With the young people that are involved in livestock, for instance, there’s only two ways to enter the Suwannee River Fair, and that’s through FFA and 4-H. Not every child can enter FFA through school, and we offer another opportunity.” Several clubs were accepting memberships last Saturday including Williston Horseman’s 4-H, an all-around club that includes poultry judging, Double Sink 4-H, Nature Coast 4-H, and Kountry Bumpkins 4-H, based out of Chiefland. Florida 4-H is a community based organization that helps children learn about a wide variety of subjects, from outdoor sports to leadership skills. Children participate in competitive and  non-competitive projects such as sport fishing, livestock, gardening and ATV safety. The group also places a strong priority on community service. Tricia Depew, from Double Sink 4-H, said that the clubs offer a great opportunity for area kids. “We really just try and do what the kids are interested in,” Depew said. “we have a lot of leadership and educational opportunities in a fun environment.” For more information on Florida 4-H, visit www.florida4h.org.