A Lasting Impact

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By Lacey Mann, CSU 4-H Extension Agent, Bent & Prowers Counties

Southeast Area—This week, October 7 through 13, marks the annual National 4-H week and this year’s theme is “make a lasting impact.” As a CSU Extension 4-H and Youth Development agent I am surrounded by 4-H on a daily basis, but my 4-H journey did not start as an agent, it began years ago as a shy eight year old girl. Over the course of ten years in the program I had projects in breeding beef, horse, rocketry, leathercraft, range management, shooting sports and junior leadership. I served as a county senator and was fortunate enough to attend the Leadership Development Conference. My parents and grandparents were heavily involved in 4-H as members, leaders, superintendents and filled just about every role that could be imagined. It was safe to say we were a 4-H family through and through.

It was not until my college internship that I was able to attend the annual State 4-H Conference in Fort Collins. While at State Conference my eyes were opened as to the possibilities outside of the 4-H I had known. State Conference gave me a spark and desire to share 4-H with as many people and youth as I could find. I wanted more people to be made aware of the program that could be found in their own backyard whether they lived in the heart of the city or in the middle of a pasture 50 miles from the nearest town.

Now as an agent I can see the impacts 4-H makes on the youth I have been privileged to work with over the past four years in Prowers and Bent Counties. These young leaders have taken an active role in the District VI officer team, organized and overseen the regional Dare to Be You Camp, held state offices, planned workshops at State Conference and Leadership Development Conference and developed their own leadership skills to make their county programs stronger and more relevant on a daily basis.

As I listened to Bent County 4-H Council past president Tiana Garcia present at the 2012 Bent County Achievement Banquet on her time at National Congress and Citizenship Washington Focus the lasting impact hit me. She encouraged everyone to be involved in 4-H, not only the youth, but the adults as well because there is always a place for everyone in the program. She said she will always cherish her 4-H memories and the skills she has learned through the program.

4-H is not just a yearlong program, it lasts a lifetime. The skills, the leadership, the record keeping, club meetings, camps, trips and lifelong friendships are only the tip of the iceberg. The opportunity is always there, you just have to knock on the door.

If your child is interested in joining 4-H or you would like further information on the 4-H program, please contact your local CSU Extension Office; Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, Prowers County 719-336-7734. 4-H is a cooperative effort between CSU Extension and the County.

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Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEducationLamarRecreationSchoolYouth


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