4-H University

From Jacque Fontenot, Red River 4-H Agent

Each year 4-H members who are 8th-12th grade are eligible to attend 4-H University on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge to demonstrate their skills in more than 40 competitive events, workshops, and educational sessions. It is a culmination of a 4-H member’s year of hard work and dedication. Events range from Agricultural Use Demonstration, Automotive Care, Fishing Sports, Computer Simulation, Public Speaking, fashion, and more!

Through competing, youth demonstrate life skills in teamwork, decision making, problem solving, resiliency, and many more. Each competitive event allots youth an opportunity for personal growth, skill mastery, and other life skills vital to functioning members of society. 

In 2021, we continue to face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, 4-H University has been adapted to offer members 30 contests. To host all contests, some will be held on the LSU campus prior to 4-H University week as well as some being offered in virtual mode. By utilizing various delivery methods, the 4-H program should be able to reach all those who have a strong interest and desire in competing in 2021.

This year, Red River Parish has 2 parish delegates, 10th graders Justin Madison and Elliot Grant, who travelled to Alexandria June 8th for “election day” to hear speeches and vote on state 4-H officers.  8th grader Hannah Worsham competed June 10th in the Louisiana Chef contest, virtually demonstrating a Louisiana commodity. 

Eighth grader Rafe Suggs will compete in ATV contest at LSUA on June 24th.  In this contest, he will show his knowledge of parts of an ATV, as well as how to safely demonstrate driving an ATV.  This week he participated in an ATV training here at the fairgrounds. 

Another eighth grader Addison Bounds participated virtually in the 4-H Has Talent Contest by submitting a video of her performance of “How He Loves”.  On June 16th she will interview for a position as a state Shooting Sports Ambassador.  Friday, June 4th she participated in a virtual training in which she learned interviewing tips and skills. 

Tenth grader Bryce Hunt competed in the Photography contest.  He submitted a photography portfolio and took a test on skills and equipment used in photography. 

Twelfth grader Layton Kerby will participate at LSUA on June 22nd in a Child Care contest, where she will demonstrate her knowledge in early childhood development.  This contest will help Layton as she starts her college journey this fall in early childhood education. 

On June 30th, the junior leaders in Red River Parish will gather to enjoy an evening of food, games, and watch the 4-H University Awards Night, where they will announce the winners from the 2021 4-H University.  Because of scheduling conflicts with the new balanced school schedule, LaFrances Jones, Shelby Pickett, Justin Madison, Ellis Grant, and Elliot Grant were unable to compete in their contests. 

Next year, 4-H University will go back to LSU Campus the week of June 22-25, 2022.  By then, we hope to have an opportunity for all of our junior leaders to be able to participate in 4-H University.  Thank you to the parents, teachers, and school administrators for allowing these kids to be able to participate in this awesome event!

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