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4-H: Empowering Local Youth

Hart County 4-H youth participate in various learning experiences, including visiting the state capitol. Photo submitted.

Mary Beth Sallee

Managing Editor

Hart Co. News Herald


Nearly 6 million young people across America are part of the largest youth development organization known as 4-H. Across Kentucky, 4-H reaches an average of 200,000 youth per year.

The 4-H program in Hart County has over 200 youth enrolled, although the program reaches over 1,200 youth through its enrichment programs.

According to local 4-H Youth Development Agent Julia Wilson, the organization provides diverse program areas, offering something for everyone.

“From agriculture and natural resources to communication, expressive arts, family and consumer sciences, leadership, as well as SET (science, engineering, and technology), children can discover and pursue their passions,” Wilson said. “The inclusive age range, starting from 5-years-old and extending until the age of 19, allows for long-term growth, transforming members into teen leaders and future community leaders. The emphasis on hands-on projects not only imparts real-life skills like public speaking, but also fosters a sense of belonging and community. Through engaging activities, youth can compete in areas they find interesting, be it showing livestock or participating in events like cupcake wars. Moreover, 4-H opens doors to higher education and career opportunities through career exploration and scholarship opportunities.”

The hands-on approach for 4-H is positively proven to help youth grow life skills, including independence, confidence, resilience, and compassion through experiences, not only instruction.

“4-H’ers acquire a diverse set of skills, including leadership, communication, public speaking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making,” Wilson explained. “They also develop practical skills through hands-on projects, gaining knowledge in areas that they choose including agriculture, family and consumer sciences, expressive arts, natural resources, and SET.”

In addition to 4-H clubs, sewing, quilting, leather, woodworking, and country ham project classes are also offered. 4-H’ers also participate in various program and field trips, including Forestry Field Day, Capitol Experience, Teen Leadership Conference, 4-H Summit, and 4-H Camp.

Throughout the year, 4-H hosts a variety of fundraisers, including bundt cake sales, donut sales, and the Annual 4-H Radio Auction. This year’s auction will take place March 4th-8th on WLOC 1150 AM and Studio 101.7 FM.

All monies raised from fundraisers goes towards 4-H school clubs, community clubs, scholarships, 4-H Camp, and other projects and events.

For additional information about Hart County 4-H, contact Julia Wilson at 270-524-2451 or via email at

4-H youth have learned about rocks and minerals at Hidden River Cave. Photo submitted.

4-H youth learn how to measure trees during Forestry Field Day. Photo submitted.

10. 4-H’ers can participate in the Country Ham Project. Photo submitted.

Fundraisers are held throughout the year to raise money for youth to attend the annual 4-H Summer Camp. Photo submitted.



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