WASHINGTON COUNTY - September 1 marks the beginning of the 2017-2018 4-H year, and Washington County 4-H is enrolling youth now.

There are several ways Washington County youth can participate in 4-H: community clubs, 4-H in the Classroom and 4-H Camps. Positive youth development is incorporated into every aspect of the 4-H experience for youth ages 5-18 years old. As part of the University of Florida’s Extension service, parents can be assured that their children will be learning with screened and trained volunteers who want to help youth reach their full potential.

Several years ago, Tufts University conducted a groundbreaking study that tracked youth from 5th grade until graduation who were involved in a variety of youth programs. The results were pretty exciting for 4-H. When 4-H youth were compared to youth in other programs, the research showed that youth involved in 4-H community clubs are

• Four times more likely to contribute to their communities

• Two times more likely to be civically active

• Two times more likely to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities during out-of-school time

• Two times more likely to take part in science programs compared to girls in other youth programs

• Two times more likely to make healthier choices.

Here’s a brief description of 4-H Clubs in Washington County:

• 4Teen 4-H Club - a club for teens focused on community service and leadership development.

• Blazing Hooves 4-H Club - anything and everything to do with horses. Minimum age: 8

• Fire Ants 4-H Club - A group for home-school students in Washington County and surrounding area.

• Junior Gardeners 4-H Club - Join us learn more about Florida plants and landscaping.

• Livestock 4-H Club - for youth interested in raising livestock projects: beef, swine, rabbit & poultry.

• Sure Shots 4-H Club - Skeet and Trap - for youth interested in learning the sport and skill of skeet and trap shooting. Minimum age: 11

• Top Knocks 4-H Club - Archery - for youth interested in learning the sport and skill of archery. Minimum age: 8

4-H leaders say they hope to see your children at one of the September kick-off meetings or events:

• September 5 Livestock 4-H Club 6 pm Washington County Ag Center Auditorium

• September 6 Fire Ants 4-H Club 9 am Ag Center East Wing

• September 6 Jr Gardeners 4-H Club 3 pm Ag Center East Wing

• September 14 Blazing Hooves 4-H Club 6 pm Ag Center Auditorium

• September 19 Brick Bratz 4-H Club - Story Starters 3 pm Washington County Public Library

• September 19 Washington County Youth Fair Steer Weigh-in 3-5 pm Ag Center Barn

• September 25 Top Nocks 4-H Club 1 pm / Sure Shots 4-H Club2 pm Hard Labor Creek Shooting Sports

To enroll in Washington County 4-H, go to https://florida.4honline.com. For more information on Washington County 4-H, contact your 4-H Agent, Julie Pigott Dillard, at 850-638-6180 or juliepd@ufl.edu.