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4H: Changing With The Times

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )Typically when you think of the 4H program you think of livestock and the farm.

But as Joey Martin for Idaho's First News tells us, the over century old organization is doing what they can to keep up with the changing times.

That's this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho.

"I don't think it's a switch, I think we are beginning to realize that there is more we can offer in 4H."
Said Suzann Dolecheck, 4H Youth Development.

According to Suzann Dolecheck, the University of Idaho Extension Educator for 4H Youth Development.

The southern Idaho 4H beef program ranks as one of the top programs in the country.

Still making the livestock aspect of 4H a major part of the organization.

But as she explains, there seems to be a change in the winds.

"We don't want to, by any means get away from our market livestock animals or our horse program or any of our animal programs. We want to supplement that with some of the needs that were seeing in the industry today. And part of that has to deal with our science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
Said Dolecheck.

An example of this change can be seen here in Twin Falls this coming weekend.

"This weekend at CSI we have a robotics tournament; it's a self state tournament. We have 45 teams from southern Idaho that will be at the tournament... upwards of 300 or 400 kids."
Said Dolecheck.

For current 4H member Porter Casdorph, the opportunity to explore other opportunities is a welcomed experience.

"I think the opportunity for young people especially my age that are looking for what they want to do with the rest of their life. When 4H gives them the opportunity to do that it gives them the opportunity grow and develop in ways they have not been previously been able to."
Said 10 Year 4H Member, Porter Casdorph.

And even if the new technical aspects of the program doesn't seem like something you're interested in.

There is still much more the 4H program can offer you as a student.

"Give it a try. If it doesn't work for you, I understand that. There are a lot of youth programs that fit the needs for a lot of different type of youth. But if you don't give it a try then you don't know whether it's going to fit the things that you're looking for."
Said Dolecheck.

A chance to expand your horizons and prepare for the future.

If you are interested in seeing all that the 4H program has to offer.

You can contact the local Twin Falls University of Idaho Extension Office at 734–9590