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Now's the time to join 4-H chapter


October 11, 2019

Head. Heart. Hands. Health. These four words guide the lives of young children. These four words lead teenagers towards their goals. And these four words provide connections between ideas and action. This is the 4-H lifestyle.

In honor of National 4-H Week, when new membership years begin, Jess Waldbillig and Aubrey Compo wanted to call attention to the 117-year-old program. Waldbillig, 19, is a Southern St. Louis County participant, and a member of the outreach committee for the Minnesota State Ambassadors Organization. Fellow ambassador Aubrey Compo, 17, is a Carlton County participant. We recently got a chance to sit down with the two of them to discuss the importance of the 4-H program.

Q:What is 4-H?

A: Waldbillig: 4-H is a county and state-organized program that allow kids and teenagers “to learn by doing.” The purpose of the club is to get young children and adults to express an interest in a topic of their choice and learn more about it by being hands-on.

Q:Who can be a member of 4-H?

A: Compo: There are no major requirements to become a member—only an age range. To be a

Clover Bud, a child needs to be in kindergarten through third grade. This means they will not be judged at fair but rather present to the judge and earn a participation ribbon. They are simply starting the process and gaining experience. From fourth grade through the first year of college, members present projects to a judge for a placing at the county fair level and then possibly the state level.

Q:When does 4-H start?

A: Waldbillig: The season starts the first couple of weeks of October each year. This year it started Oct. 6. You have to “enroll” officially in 4-H. After you enroll, you will get more information on how you can get in contact with your county coordinator.

Q:What projects can you do?

A:Compo: There are no limits to the projects available. Anything and everything has a category for 4-H. If there isn’t a specific title, you’re allowed to put your project under the “self-determined” category. Projects vary from horses, fishing, woodworking, fine arts, performing arts, and photography to livestock like cattle to poultry to gardening and beyond. There are no limits. If your mind can think it and your hands turn it into a project, you can do it.

Q:How long do you get to do these projects?

A:Waldbillig: Projects can take anywhere from a whole year to a few hours to make. Whatever amount of time you’ll need to take is what however long it’ll take.

Q:What clubs are there within 4-H?

A:Compo: Horse clubs, livestock clubs, robotics clubs, shooting sports and wildlife clubs, and ambassador groups, just to name a few.

Q:If it’s my first year, how can I learn to participate?

A:Waldbillig: I would say the first place to start would be your county ambassador group. They would know the most about 4-H and could help new members with a wide array of questions.

Q:What does 4-H mean to you?

A: Waldbillig: 4-H has given me confidence in pretty much every aspect of my life. It has made me excited to learn new things and to want to share knowledge with others. 4-H has also made huge a big difference in my life and I want to share that with others too.

Compo: It’s shown me who I really am. It has helped me learn about my passions and find people who share my passions. 4-H has made me the person who I am today and it’s helped me form friendships with people in my area and around the state.

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