4-H clubs have persevered in a difficult year


Much of the life, energy and excitement of Branch County Fair is generated in the world of 4-H.

In preparation for the event, members of the 4-H club made the fairground beautiful while learning how to keep the soil healthy and planting at the right time to keep their landscaping projects at their best during the week. of the fair.

This is an example of “learning by doing”.

“Learning by doing” is the heart and soul of the 4-H experience, said Connie Lange, MSU Extension 4-H educator.

The pandemic has made that currency hard to live with, and as a result, club membership has grown from around 1,000 in Branch County to 666 this year.

4-H leaders and educators did their best during the virtual year to keep students engaged. And offered virtual experiences that students would never have enjoyed in person due to the distance and expense.

But a lot of 4-H is relationship-based and that’s why the program has taken over for the past 18 months.

“He is a caring adult who works with young people,” said Lange. “It becomes a family.

And although the numbers are down, there are still many caring adult volunteers – 135 people, working in the 33 branch county clubs. But it was not an easy experience, said Lange.

“On the other hand, we wouldn’t want an entire club to get sick because we weren’t careful,” she said. They therefore scrupulously followed the guidelines.

Now, leaders will make a concerted effort to engage more students by raising awareness of the many opportunities that 4-H offers.

One event will be a carnival on October 9 at Fairfield Plaza, Coldwater, across from the Branch County Children’s Museum.

Meanwhile, the Branch County Fair board and 4-H leaders, parents and club members have worked tirelessly to get ready for the 2021 fair.

A 4-H parade on Saturday and events on Sunday, including the coronation of the 2021 County Queen of Branch 4-H, kick off the week they’ve been anticipating for two years.

Community members have the opportunity to support the 4-H program by enjoying the barbecue chicken dinner they serve on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dearth Center.

The 4-H Leadership Council, in turn, reaches out to the community with a 4-H bike gift. Visit the 4-H field cutout panel for bike entry forms.

Much of the energy and excitement of Branch County Fair is generated in the world of 4-H.

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