County 4-H program has something to interest every child

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The Switzerland County 4-H program is one of the most popular activities among young people in the county, and as the deadline to sign up to participate in the program this year approaches, the staff and the Purdue Extension Service says that there’s a project in 4-H that will peak the interest of a child.

“Switzerland County offers 64 different projects,” Ginger Furnish of the extension office said. “There are new projects this year like home furnishings, where a member works on interior design for a room; and this year if a member has already done two years of photography, they are allowed to choose two photography projects. It expands the members’ options in photography.”

The 4-H program is open to any child who is currently in grades 1-12, but anyone wanting to participate this year needs to be aware that the deadline to enroll is this Tuesday, April 1st, at the close of business.

There is no grace period or extension. Miss the deadline, and the child cannot participate in the 4-H program this year.

“Once a student is enrolled, he or she has the option of adding or dropping projects up until June 1st,” Ginger Furnish said. “But they must be enrolled by April 1st.”

Students in grades 1-2 are eligible to be a part of the county’s Mini 4-H program; while students in grades 3-12 can be a part of the regular 4-H program.

Last year, nearly 300 children were a part of the Switzerland County 4-H program, and as enrollment continues this year, the extension staff is working toward of goal of an increase of 10-percent over last year.

“That’s our goal,” Ginger Furnish said. “We want to make sure that every child in the county who is eligible has the chance to be a part of the 4-H program.”

The 4-H fairboard has been working hard over the years to improve the facilities for the fair; and this year the exhibit hall projects will be displayed in a brand new exhibit hall, which is located just behind the community building.

The different projects offered by the 4-H program are as varied as the children who take them, ranging from animal projects of different species to exhibit hall projects and plant projects.

“This year we have 45 students enrolled in our shooting sports program,” Ginger Furnish said. “It’s not just hunting. Student learn about safety and shooting as a sport. It’s very popular.”

There are also many 4-H clubs in Switzerland County that a student can be a part of. Many students choose a club based on what part of the county they live in; while others may choose a club based on that child’s interest – for example, horses.

There is a new 4-H club in Switzerland County this year, the “Switzerland Sidewinders”; and it joins 10 other clubs in the county: the “Moorefield Celebrities”; the “Center Square Champs”; the “Valley Achievers”; the “4-H Rockers”; the “Trailblazers”; the “Country Kids”; the “Swiss Wranglers”; the “Shawnee Shamrocks”; the “Pleasant Outlaws”; the “Chicks and Wranglers”; the “Posey Pioneers”; and the “Clover Kids”.

Interested in signing up for the Switzerland County 4-H program? Want to learn more about the different projects?

The Purdue Extension office is located at 803 East Main Street in the former Blair Building; and you may call them at 427-3152, or contact a 4-H club leader. You must go to the extension office to register; and students under age 18 must have their parent sign to participate.