4-H Extension Corner
|| Among those who participated in the 1st Golf Classic at the Research Golf Course were (from left to right) Coach Pat Dye; Mr. Pursell, owner of Farmlinks and host of the event; and Coach Tommy Tuberville. This event raised money to help build an Environmental Science Education Building at the 4-H Center.
by James Shropshire
Welcome back for our second 4-H column. I hope that you had a great Independence Day, celebrating family and country and the values we hold so dear.
What wonderful traditions we in Alabama celebrate in the heart of the summer: home-made ice cream and barbeque, and our bounty of summer fruits and vegetables! It makes us think of celebrations of days gone by – and allows us a time to consider what the world will be like for our children.
I hope that you, like I, have paused to commemorate the many men and women who have served and now serve in fighting for the freedom which we all enjoy. We can never fully express our grateful appreciation to those families among us who have lost loved ones in that battle. THANK YOU — “Freedom isn’t Free”!!!!!
Many of you also remember summer as the time for 4-H Camp. That is a tradition that keeps on growing. Perhaps you have heard reports from kids in your family or community who spent time at our tremendous 4-H Center near Columbiana.
4-H Camp is a chance to meet new friends, conquer new challenges and develop personal and leadership skills. It may be the first trip away from home, a major step in developing independence and trust for others.
Each young person deals differently with the challenges and opportunities of summer 4-H Camp. And the level of home-sickness is never too great, with all the exciting activities, the caring counselors, and the many new friends.
|The 2005 Summer Program Staff for the 4-H Center near Columbiana are (top row) Sonny Brinkman, Mobile County; Ryan Gaither, Clay County; Reggie Bell, Marengo County; Ryan Brooks, Georgia; Paul Mazzei, South Carolina; (bottom row) Kayla Austin, Chilton County; Emily Vines, Coosa County; Casey East, Pike County; Amanda Peak, Geneva County and Darby Beasley, Illinois.
June was also the month that “The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation” held its first Golf Classic. It was a great event, raising money that will be used to help build the Environmental Science Education Building at
the 4-H Center. Many thanks go out to Coach Tuberville and Coach Dye for taking time from their busy schedules to come out and help promote this wonderful cause. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Purcell for hosting us on their state-of-the-art Research Golf Course and the many companies and individuals that played. Photos of the tournament can be found by going to www.aces.edu/fourh/. We are looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year.
Summer is also the time for the twelve Alabama 4-H Regions to hold our Regional Congresses. Junior and senior winners were awarded prizes in a wide array of competitive events, with winners joining other youth leaders for our 4-H State Congress, held in Auburn in mid-July.
Speaking of winners, please give Roger Vines and Coosa County’s 4-H program a warm round of applause. The Coosa County 4-Hers won both the Alabama Senior Forestry and Wildlife Competitions. Both of these teams will represent Alabama in national competitions. Since we have previously had high-ranking teams in both these events, including National Champions, we know that the Coosa County kids will do a great job!
|Upcoming 4-H Events:
August 2-6: Southeast Regional Horse Show - Montgomery
August 6-10: Fort Clover for National Guard and Reserve Kids
August 13: Purebred Beef Council Show - Montgomery
For more info on dates or events: www.aces.edu/calendar/ or got to www.ag.auburn.edu/~rebert/
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You may associate 4-H with building strong character. In Alabama we have had a very successful program called Leading With Character. This program introduces character education in a variety of settings, from demonstrating character when riding on the school bus all the way through showing character through Alabama 4-H Animal Science Projects.
Leading With Character is based on the noted Character Counts program developed by the Josephson Institute. Even for adults, Leading With Character is something in which we may all need an occasional refresher course.
Over the next few months I’d like to introduce you to Character Counts’ Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. You may find that these present a good topic for discussion with your own family, or perhaps they may even allow you a fresh perspective on the strength of your personal character.
Be honest; Do not deceive, cheat or steal; Be reliable — Do what you say you will do; Have the courage to do the right thing; Build a good reputation; Be loyal — Stand by your family, friends and country.
Have you ever thought about how Alabama’s 4-H livestock projects are a great indicator of how trustworthy you are? Take a moment and answer some questions:
1. Do you feed and water your animal or animals every day?
2. If you have to be gone on an overnight camping trip, do you make arrangements with someone to take care of your animal for you?
3. Do you have your 4-H animals recorded by the ownership deadline and have all the appropriate forms completed and turned in on time?
4. Do you read entry forms carefully and abide by the rules that you sign?
5. Do you read the labels on the medications you give your animals and follow the correct withdrawal times for those medications?
6. Do you use only approved medications on your animals?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are doing a great job of practicing the Character Pillar of Trustworthiness. Trustworthiness means being honest, loyal, and keeping promises.
When you faithfully feed and water, as well as groom and train your animals every day, you are being loyal and keeping a promise to yourself to do the best possible job you can with your 4-H project. When you begin a 4-H animal project, you accept an important responsibility for taking the best possible care of those animals every day. You are also keeping a promise to your parents or guardians, your neighbors, and other people who help get you started with your project. When someone helped you purchase your animal, they put their trust in you to take care of it. When you are loyal and keep promises, people will say you are trustworthy!
When you have raised your own animals or purchased them by the deadlines and turned in the forms according to 4-H rules and regulations, you are being honest and fair. You expect everyone else who has a 4-H animal to follow the rules and to take care of their animals for the same amount of time and with the same dedication that you do. So, if everyone follows the same rules and time schedules, the whole project and resulting shows are honest and fair to everyone.
The last two questions deal with being honest and keeping promises to a much larger group of people: every person who consumes food.
Consumers have a right to know that their food is safe and free from drug residues. When you use only approved drugs and medications, according to the label, and follow the withdrawal times on all medications, you are keeping a promise to consumers that their food will be safe and free of any drug residues.
While you are not the only person responsible for assuring the safety of the food supply, you are a very important part. If every livestock producer follows these principles, consumers will be confident of the safety of their food. So when you follow withdrawal times and use only approved drugs, you are being honest and keeping a promise to consumers.
Now some questions for you to think about:
• What happens if you don’t feed and water your animal every day like you are supposed to?
• What happens when you take advantage of other people’s help and let them feed and water your animals for a longer time than you really need help?
• What happens if you don’t own your animals by the entry deadline? Why?
• What happens if you don’t read the labels or follow the withdrawal times on a medication you use on your market animal and it is condemned at the packing plant for having a drug residue? How does this affect you? How might it affect other exhibitors?
• What would happen if people read in the paper about 4-H animals that had drug residues? How would it reflect on 4-H? How would it reflect on you and your club?
Until next time!
James Shropshire is the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central Alabama Region.