A New Club Means New Fun in 4-H
Breads, cookies, cakes and crackers – so many food products common in our daily lives stem from some crop rich with scientific tales of triumph, romanticized stories of harvest, and a future likely as unique as its past. Members of the newly formed 4-H Discovery Club are getting wrapped up in all things wheat this year.
Why wheat? This globally significant crop contains lessons in agriculture, engineering, and baking. Sprinkle in the other opportunities all 4-H clubs offer – leadership, citizenship and life skills – and it is sure to be a recipe for success.
The club has met twice for monthly meetings so far. In September, youth learned about parts of wheat seeds and plants. Then we discussed wheat germination, which is a seed becoming a seedling and beginning to grow. They gained hands-on experience with the concept of wheat germination looks like through two take-home demonstrations.
For the first one, youth made “rag dolls.” Simply explained, rag dolls are damp paper towels where seeds have the conditions they need to germinate. A few days later, youth unwrapped the towels to look at the roots and growth of the plant at the beginning of germination.
The second project was growing the seeds in a propagation mix, like potting soil, and observing the growth stages as they would happen in a farmer’s field.
At October’s meeting, the club learned about efficiency in farming with a computer science activity.
Besides wheat, the other focus of the club is to take time and more thoroughly explain 4-H. Caldwell County is taking many small steps to make 4-H less cryptic to new families interested in joining the organization, which prepares youth for adulthood and has youth making many fun memories as they grow up. After all, 4-H is educational and a social experience for youth.
The 4-H Discovery Club has practiced basic elements of how meetings should run, recited the 4-H pledge and talked about what membership means. The next club meeting is November 19 at 3 p.m. at the Caldwell County meeting rooms, and new families still have time to join and enjoy the fun.
Once youth ages 5-18 are involved in a club or enrolled in 4-H, there are additional county-wide activities they can participate in; and once they are 8 years-old, there are district and state level opportunities to grow with 4-H. Countywide activities include community service events, topical workshops, and competitions. The West District for N.C. Cooperative Extension holds a fall activity day each year, teen retreats and more competitions. Finally, at a state level, there are conferences and larger leadership opportunities.
For more information about the local program, visit our website, caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu or give us a call at 828-757-1258. Caldwell County 4-H is a member agency of United Way, and it enthusiastically supports its partnerships.