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Posts Tagged: 4-H

4-H teaches kids environmental awareness at inaugural camp

4-H teens planned and presented a week-long camp for local youth called Sustainable You! at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville.
Twenty-five schoolchildren learned what it means to be “sustainable” at the inaugural 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, reported Michael Dukes in the Imperial Valley Press.

The environmental impact of humans is something children need to be aware of, said Shanna Abatti, UC ANR 4-H Youth Development Program representative. The camp was designed to provide new or different perspectives on how to save water, recycle, use renewable energy and understand the benefits of buying local food.

Preparation for the camp began last July, the article said. Abatti called upon 15 4-H high schoolers to help run and coordinate activities. 

“Being the first year, it was a lot of work," said recent Central Union High School graduate and camp council president Natalie Gonzalez. "The camp was originally (designed) for Utah, so we had to change a lot of the games to fit the Valley and what we have here, the weather we have here, the crops that we grow."

The first day centered on recycling, composting, and how waste effects planet earth. The campers did activities on landfills and took home worm composting bins. Day 2 focused on air, with campers learning about air quality and the impact of pollutants. The campers finished the day by harvesting fresh vegetables at the research center. Day 3 the campers learned about food packaging, food origins, and the importance of buying local or regional food. The campers visited a local dairy. Day 4 was focused on energy, with activities involving wind turbines and a solar oven. The campers took part in an (indoor) "camp out" and glow-in-the-dark nature walk. The camp ended with a session on water. Campers tried out water quality testing and took a virtual tour of wetlands. Each of the campers had perfect attendance.

The camp was made possible by support from the Vesper Society.

Posted on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 10:45 AM

4-H teaches responsibility

The October issue of Central Valley magazine.
Fresno County 4-H member Tanner Rosales and his goat Bonnie graced the cover of October's Central Valley magazine as time for showing the animal at the Big Fresno Fair approaches.

Tanner, 10, hails from a family with a long 4-H tradition. Mom Kellie Rosales started in 4-H at age 9. Grandma Teri Penfold grew up in 4-H and is now a leader.

With more than 6 million members, 4-H is the nation's largest youth development organization, supporting students ages 9 to 19 through an expansive and varied program designed to shape future leaders and innovators, the article said.

In California, 4-H is part of UC Cooperative Extension.

The article described the months-long process Tanner has undertaken to show a farm animal at the fair. He meets weekly with the 4-H goat leader and makes one or two additional trips to work with Bonnie on his own.

4-H members are responsible for regularly walking their animals, feeding them, weekly weigh-ins, giving any oral medications, practicing showing in a ring and touching the animals so they're used to being handled.

"The 4-H program teaches the commitment needed to properly prepare a goat for show - and more importantly - how to see a project through to completion," the article said.

Rosales said she appreciated the opportunities and experiences that 4-H provided.

"I just want that for my kids," she said. "I want them to know they're going to work hard, and when they work hard it's going to pay off."

Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 8:49 AM
Tags: 4-H (46)

4-H members to plant one millionth tree

Children in Kenya took part in the 4-H Million Trees Project.
After six years, the 4-H Million Trees Project will officially meet its goal on Aug. 16 when 4-H members gather to plant the one millionth tree, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

The project was launched in 2008 after 4-H member Laura Webber saw Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." At the end, the documentary suggests ways viewers can help ease the dire consequences of global warming. One was, "Plant a tree." Webber decided to plant one million.

Even as she went off to college, trees continued to be planted around the world and tallied on the 4-H Million Trees website. Many 4-H members coordinated tree planting projects in their local communities to take part in 4-H Million Trees. One of those was Julien Lévy of the Belmont 4-H Club, who created "The Reforesting San Bruno Project" after the September 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion. In Louisiana, a 4-H member coordinated the planting of 150,000 trees to replace those lost in Hurricane Katrina. In Mariposa County, a 4-H member planted trees to reforest an area ravaged by wildfire.

Webber, now an international studies major starting her senior year at Vassar College, and her father will join current 4-H members at Huddart County Park in Woodside to plant the millionth tree.

Other media:

ABC Eyewitness News interviewed Webber at the site of the very first tree planted as part of the project for a story on the evening news.

Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Tags: 4-H (46)

New UC advisor is already making a positive impact

Virginia Bolshakova
Virginia Bolshakova, a UC Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development advisor for less than a year, has received praise from a farm bureau director for her contributions to local agriculture, reported Julia Hollister in Capital Press.

“She brings enthusiasm, high energy, intelligence and a passion for agriculture to her job," said Bill Gass, executive director of the San Mateo County Farm Bureau.

No day is average for Bolshakova, who is also the county director for San Mateo-San Francisco counties UCCE and the director of Elkus Ranch, a place for hands-on learning experiences for Bay Area children.

One morning she is working with concerned citizens about beekeeping policies, collaborating with scientists at UC Berkeley about eradicating aphids in gardens, and in the afternoon herding students around Elkus Ranch teaching about rangeland, the story said.

“I think the biggest challenge facing San Mateo County agriculture is urban-rural interface, and that goes in both directions,” she said. “I work with many youth who never thought about plants or planting a seed and watching it grow. I worry that people are becoming disconnected to their food and where it originates.”

Bolshakova was born and raised on a 450-acre pig and crop farm in southwestern Michigan where her parents still work the land. Her childhood experiences nurtured a passion for the environment and a keen awareness of the interdependency between people and nature.

Bolshakova has a bachelor's degree in biology from State University of New York, Buffalo, a master's degree from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Utah State University.

Posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Tags: 4-H (46), Elkus Ranch (1), Virginia Bolshakova (1)

4-H Million Trees draws close to the halfway point

4-H Million Trees project in Kenya.
Started in 2008 by high school 4-H'er Laura Webber, the 4-H Million Trees Project continues to grow and has nearly accomplished half its goal, reported the national TV show EcoCompany. EcoCompany produced a six-minute video (see below) about a group of Woodside teenagers who planted 26 redwood trees in Huddart State Park. The global 4-H initiative, under the auspices of UC Cooperative Extension, is currently at 450,000 trees.

At Huddart State Park, the new trees will help reforest an empty glade that used to be a vollyball court.

"It's a service learning project which is something in 4-H that combines learning with community service," said one of the 4-H team leaders. Fiona Benjamin and Emma Filar are the teen leaders.

The teen leaders involved the Woodside High School Green Academy in the tree-planting event.

"It's good for the environment. It gives us more oxygen to breath," said Karen Estrada, a Green Academy member.

4-H Million Tree planting events have been organized all over the world, including Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

"One thing I've taken away from the project is that one person can make an amazing, tremendous difference by getting other people to go along with his or her idea," said the teen leader interviewed in the video.

Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Tags: 4-H (46)

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