June 2007
4-H Extension Corner

  Kelton Mason and the Alabama youth who attended the Livestock Judging Camp.
To those of you who have been before but decided not to spend part of your Spring Break with us at LIVESTOCK JUDGING CAMP, well, let’s say you missed the BEST ONE EVER. Kids from the North to the South came to Auburn University on April 19 to 21. This year we brought in a young, very experienced person to run the camp portion. Kelton Mason was on a National Championship Team at Texas A&M and then coached a team for Texas A&M to a national title.

He was very good with the youth and kept things interesting and fun. He also gave them some websites to try their new skills in on-line judging contests.
Health and Fitness a Part of 4-H

In the 4-H pledge, all club members pledge their "Health to Better Living." That aspect of Head-Hands-Heart-and-Health has gotten a big boost in our state thanks to an exciting new program developed by Alabama 4-H.

Current research points out some pretty grim statistics on the health of Alabama’s kids and Alabamians in general:

• The current generation of Alabamians may be the first to outlive their children.

• Nationally, Alabama ranks 6th in overweight students and first in overweight or obese adults.

• Only four out of five Alabama young people get even moderate physical activity.

Causes of those trends are basically that children and families have poor diets, and youth and adults do not get nearly enough exercise. An array of health problems — ranging from circulatory/cardio-vascular illness and diabetes to mental depression — are connected to those two conditions.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System 4-H program, working with Auburn University’s Department of Health and Human Performance, has responded to this youth health crisis by developing an education and activity program called Just Move Alabama! Just Move Alabama! focuses on three healthy lifestyle principles:

• Increasing physical activity of youth;

• Teaching youth to make healthier nutritional choices; and

• Teaching youth to appreciate and value all body types.

Because of our successful outreach, Just Move Alabama! has been adopted by individual schools and school systems, reaching more than 10,000 kids in every corner of our state. I would encourage you to work with your local Extension office, schools, churches and youth service organizations to help launch Just Move Alabama! in your community. And since it comes from Alabama 4-H, you know that it will be fun for the kids and the adult leaders.

Just a friendly reminder for JUNE!!!

We invite you to join us for the third annual Alabama 4-H Golf Classic on Thursday, June 14, 2007. FarmLinks Golf Club is again partnering with Alabama 4-H and the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., and we are thrilled to offer this exciting golf course for play.

We have a number of new celebrity golfers making plans to participate in this year’s Classic — and you’ll be hearing more about them soon.

The first two years of the Classic has raised nearly $40,000 through the generosity of our golfers and sponsors to support Alabama 4-H youth programs and activities. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Alabama. Kids ages nine to 19, from urban and rural settings, are involved in a variety of clubs, activities and programs. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Our goal is to strengthen support of Alabama 4-H by building lifelong relationships with many friends, and we are to glad to count you among our friends. We need your involvement and participation in the Classic to ensure Alabama youth have the skills they need to be successful in life. The money raised at the Classic ensures that. If you cannot participate in the Classic, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution.

If you played last year, we don’t have to tell you about FarmLinks Golf Club (www.farmlinksgolfclub.com), an 18-hole championship course created by Pursell Technologies, Inc. If you’ve never played before, you are in for a real treat! The course combines recreation with environmental harmony as it winds through forests, valleys, and meadows that were once pastures and cropland.

We look forward to a great time as we celebrate Alabama 4-H, honoring our past, present and future 4-H members, volunteers and partners!

Contact Kirsten Holt, 4-H Regional Extension Agent, at 205-913-4593 for registration information.

Until next time, God Bless!

James Shropshire is the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central Alabama Region. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..