SIDNEY — The Sidney Rotary Club heard from Cassie Dietrich from the 4-H Extension office during a recent meeting.
Dietrich surprised many in the audience with the type of programs that 4-H offers and how many youths were exposed to 4-H in Shelby County. By the numbers, the following participated in 4-H last year: 3,198 youths were exposed to 4-H through their schools at least one time; 980 youth enrolled in 33 traditional 4-H clubs across Shelby County; more than 500 youth were exposed to 4-H over multiple site visits to their schools; 329 youth were specifically engaged in 4-H Manufacturing Fundamentals programming and 103 kids attended 4-H overnight camp at Camp Clifton.
Dietrich said that 4-H had to change with the times. While it still offers traditional programing with clubs meeting every month, it needed to adjust to meet the time demands of kids these days. She said that 4-H works in cooperation with several schools and provides programming to kids during their school day. One of their newest programs is called “Manufacturing Fundamentals.” The program helps introduce kids to what manufacturers need here. Participants have hands-on interaction with hydraulics, robotics and other systems that are used to manufacture products. Dietrich works in schools several days a week. The typical grade level is kindergarten through sixth grade.
Dietrich stated that 4-H also helps to develop leaders. The Junior Fair Board learns leadership skills and helps Shelby County Fair with many items leading up to the fair and during the fair. The kids also help put on an overnight camp for kids that typically 100 or more kids attend.