Lake County 4-H expanding to include animal projects

Informational meeting to be held Jan. 7

LAKE COUNTY — Interested in raising chickens, rabbits, goats, and horses?

Animal projects are some of the longest-running and easily identifiable aspects of 4-H, but they are much more complex than what happens in the show ring. Many people may not realize the valuable skills that 4-H’ers receive as a result of participating in these projects, which is why the Lake County 4-H program is expanding to include animal projects.

To reach more families, Lake County 4-H is hosting an informational meeting and 4-H club sign up event from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, at the Baldwin Business Center. Tamara McKenzie, 4-H volunteer with Irons 4-H Club, will speak on what 4-H is all about, including 4-H enrollment and club meeting schedules and provide an overview of raising 4-H animals. Afterwards, she will be available for questions and provide information on where to purchase 4-H project animals. Masks will be required.

As part of these programs, young people are encouraged to practice animal welfare and responsibility. 4-H’ers are encouraged to take ownership of their project and be responsible for the animal’s daily care, while receiving oversight from an adult volunteer. 4-H’ers learn how to provide adequate feed, water and shelter to their animal and give the animal opportunities for normal socialization. As the animal grows, young people can take pride in knowing they helped raise a healthy animal.

Being a part of a 4-H club is an exciting opportunity for 4-H youth, ages 5-19. Although raising and exhibiting an animal is a huge responsibility, the experience also offers tremendous rewards as you learn, meet new friends, and gain new knowledge and skills.

To learn more about the Lake County 4-H program, contact Laurie Platte Breza, 4-H coordinator, at platteb1@msu.edu.