4-H returns to BGSU

 One collegiate 4-H Club has been recently reinstated at the University, in an effort led by sophomore president Kaytlyn Graver.
 
“Head,” “heart,” “hands” and “health” – the H’s in 4-H reflect the organization’s devotion to propelling student’s careers. But 4-H is specifically a youth development organization, so once a child turns 18, they age out of the program. However, some colleges feature collegiate 4-H clubs that allow students to participate well after they would normally age out. 
 
There are about three other collegiate 4-H Clubs in Ohio, the Midwest being a prime location for their creation. 
 
“My grandma started the first collegiate 4-H Club, so it’s cool to follow in her footsteps,” Graver said about one of the reasons why she wanted to start up the group. 
 
Collegiate 4-H Clubs are run differently than the youth clubs. They help out local 4-H groups within their county, perform community service, connect with other collegiate clubs to participate in events and socials and sponsor events on University campuses.
 
Some of the goals of its members are to inspire interest in 4-H, gain leadership skills, participate in wholesome recreation, make friends and encourage community participation. Prior 4-H experience is not necessary, so the club is open to anyone.   
 
Bowling Green has a history of collegiate 4-H that dates back to the late 70s and early 80s, but it was mostly a square dancing and line dancing club at the time. The club died out for a time, but came back with popularity in 90s. According to faculty advisor Jayne Roth, the organization had 90 members in the late 90s, making it the largest collegiate 4-H club in the country. The program became dormant in about 2005, and had remained quiet until Graver decided she wanted to revive the club.
 
4-H was founded in 1902 in Clark County, Ohio. It was originally called the Tomato Growing or Corn Growing Club because it mostly focused on agriculture. Nowadays, 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the world and has nearly 6 million members in over 50 countries.
 
The organization supports and teaches aspects of science, technology, engineering and math programs; agriculture; healthy living; and citizenship. According to the 4-H website, children who participate in 4-H are four times more likely to give back to their community, two times more likely to make healthier life choices and two times as likely to participate in STEM activities than those who have no involvement in 4-H. 
 
The group’s next meeting is Sept. 19, at 8:30 in the Business Administration Building Room 115.