PRC 4-H empowers youth
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Pearl River County 4-H organization is dedicated to empowering youth, MSU County Extension Agent Alex Shook said.
The 4-H is one of the world’s largest youth organizations, Shook said, and there is one available in every county in Mississippi. There are 280 members in the PRC 4-H along with 31 volunteers who assist with programs.
“4-H offers community and project clubs,” Shook said. “The community clubs switch every month but the project clubs have a particular focus including shooting sports, robotics and livestock.”
The 4-H organization is open to youngesters ages five to eighteen, Shook said. By joining 4-H, these young people learn leadership skills, life skills, responsibility, dedication, nutrition, friendship and sportsmanship in competition.
One of the most popular projects is livestock, Shook said. The students get to pick an animal to raise at their homes.
“Our goal is to get kids interested in livestock and agriculture,” Shook said. “I assist them with selection, teach them about nutrition and supervise all projects.
Types of livestock projects include rabbits, chickens, market swine, market lambs, dairy goats, market goats, breeding goats, market cattle, breeding cattle and dairy cattle, Shook said.
Young adults receive their animals when they are anywhere from 12 weeks to nine months old.
“The kids spend a lot of time with their animals,” Shook said. “They learn about how the animals develop and grow as well as how to show the animals at county and state fairs.”
In addition to learning how to care for and train their animals, 4-H students learn how to compare desirable and non-desirable animals. They also learn to evaluate livestock and give the judge a verbal opinion, Shook said.
“The kids get more comfortable with public speaking,” Shook said. “They also learn how to pay attention to detail when comparing products. They not only learn about livestock production but feed production as well.”
Young adults interested in joining PRC 4-H can contact Shook at 601-403-2280 or by email at email@example.com.
Learn more about PRC 4-H at www.msucares.com/4h_Youth/4hindex.html.