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  • Dylan Anderson

Open house hopes to show 4-H is ‘so much more’ than you think

Routt County CSU Extension is holding an open house next week to show the variety of opportunities available with 4-H.

Some people throughout the Yampa Valley have a misconception about 4-H, says Millie Delaney, who helps coordinate the local 4-H program for Routt County’s Colorado State University Extension office.


“A lot of people, especially in our community feel you have to have animals to be part of 4-H,” Delaney said. “4-H is so much more than that. … If there is anything that any kid can dream of doing, there is a project in 4-H that can help them explore that career path.”


Extension is hosting an open house next week that hopes to expose more locals to what is possible with 4-H, including information on more than 100 different projects that have been done in previous years. The open house is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the new community room at the Routt County Public Health and Human Services building.


The list of potential projects includes all of the traditional livestock categories, from raising beef to showing rabbits. But the list includes many more projects some people may not expect to be part of 4-H like veterinary science, leathercraft, robotics, shooting sports and gardening to name a few.


“4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States, but still a lot of people don’t know about it,” said Tami Eggers, who also works on 4-H with Routt County Extension. “It’s not just livestock. It’s a lot of hands-on projects that have nothing to do with animals.”


There is a strong 4-H program in Routt County, with more than 275 students participating each year. In addition to pursuing their own interests by choosing their project, Eggers said 4-H also works to instill basic skills like record keeping and public speaking in students.


Students run their own meetings with parliamentary procedures, take on leadership roles and learn to overcome obstacles to success.


“They learn to fail, to do something better,” Delaney said.


4-H is $40 to join and that is all-inclusive, though some projects may have an additional fee. Next week’s open house is open to the public and hopes to help people learn how they can get involved in 4-H. You can explore 4-H projects here and enroll in 4-H here.

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