4-H Club benefits more than agriculture

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

“I pledge my head to clearer thinking,

my heart to greater loyalty,

my hands to larger service,

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and my health to better living,

for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

Each week students in fifth and sixth grades across Dallas County and Selma repeat those words with their leader. They are members of 4-H and the pledge tells what 4-H is all about.

The basic 4-H focus has moved far beyond the traditional role of agriculture, although the rural farm life is still celebrated among some. But 4-H has become much more. It focuses on the personal growth of the member. Life skills have become a key element of the projects, activities and events to help our young people become productive members of society.

Take, for instance, Miss America Katie Stam. She credits her time in 4-H as developing a passion for community service.

A 4-H organization is as good as its leadership.

Today, about 50 of those 4-H leaders from across Alabama have come to Selma to spend three days in workshops, sharing experiences, working together, learning from one another and going back to their individual communities to help develop good citizens for the future.

We welcome those members of the Alabama Association of Extension 4-H Agents who will spend the next three days in Selma. We thank them for working with our youth and learning to reach more children.

Surely these agents are living the slogan of “Learn by doing.” And certainly that doing will evolve into the motto of 4-H “to make the best better.”