Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES -- Kids from all 33 New Mexico counties will compete in a variety of contests from livestock judging to public speaking during the State 4-H Conference in Las Cruces, July 13-16. Four-H is a New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service program.
"Four-H is designed to provide youth development programs ranging from food to animals," said Carla Davis, 4-H programming assistant. "Participants learn new things and get to meet new people -- kids in their communities -- and develop leadership skills."
More than 600 4-H members are expected to attend the conference on the NMSU campus and participate in a nonstop schedule of recreation, contests, educational workshops and elections of officers for the up-coming year.
Four-H members compete at the county level to qualify for the state event. The top two senior teams compete at state, and some counties send 4-H members to participate in workshops.
Some of this year's workshops will cover basketball, computers, fishing, livestock, volleyball, leather-crafting, self-defense, wreath-making, Western dance and food science fun.
On July 16, 4-H members will elect seven state officers. Campaigning for the offices goes on throughout the conference. Officers, along with ambassadors and diplomats, serve as 4-H's leadership team and help run statewide activities.
"More than 50,000 New Mexico children are enrolled in 4-H programs," said Jesse Holloway, Extension department head of 4-H and youth development. "Some belong to traditional community 4-H clubs, some are involved with special interest programs that exist for a short period of time, and others participate in school enrichment programs."
For more information about 4-H or the state conference, contact your county Extension office or call the New Mexico 4-H Office toll free at 1-888-646-5204.
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