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GC GREEN COUNTRY SCENE

the 4-h

factor

FROM IN-SCHOOL ENRICHMENT AND OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, CLUBS TO CAMPS, 4-H PROGRAMS ARE INSPIRING CHILDREN TO HAVE FUN, LEARN, GROW, AND DO MORE. BY JENNIFER ZEHNDER It’s early morning and the Burton sisters — Katie, Kenzie, Grace and Brianna — of Stilwell, Okla., are busy with morning chores. A barn full of dairy goats, assorted cattle, meat chickens and a collection of colorful rabbits wait their respective turn as the foursome milk, feed, water, and take care of their charges. Just west of town, their Patterson cousins — Hagen, Jonah and Samuel — work through their livestock duties before they, too, head to school. That evening, after homework and chores, the children gather at their local 4-H Club where they catch up with friends, review projects with 4-H leaders and volunteers, and talk about upcoming competitions from speech and demonstrations to the food showdown and livestock skillathon.

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It makes for a busy life, says Jennifer Patterson, the boys’ mother, but a 4-H life is one that matters. “4-H teaches vital life skills to our youth which builds a solid foundation for their futures. It opens doors to many opportunities that might not have been available if not actively involved in 4-H,” she explains. “It takes a youth’s specific likes and interests and helps them set goals for a career doing what they love to do. It also demonstrates the importance of teamwork and community involvement.” Patterson and her sister-in-law, Yalonda Burton, the girls’ mother, know a little about doing what you love. Both proud 4-H alumnae, Patterson serves as the

Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Educator (AG/4-H) for Adair County, whereas Burton is a large and small animal veterinarian. More than a century ago, 4-H was born from the idea of practical, “handson” learning to connect public school education to rural life. Identified by its green cloverleaf emblem which features a white H on each leaf, the 4-H name represents the nonprofit’s four development areas — head, heart, hands and health. Today, the nation’s largest youth development organization continues its “learn-by-doing” philosophy, growing confident young people who are empowered for life today and their future careers tomorrow.

Profile for Preview 918

January 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 1)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

January 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 1)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...