By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Good news for county commissioners on May 21 was a report from county extension agents that youth participation in 4-H in Otter Tail County totals 1,955.

Otter Tail County has several 4-H clubs where members participate in a variety of projects and develop their leadership skills. University of Minnesota Extension employees told county board members that it’s rewarding for 4-H participants to have fun, meet new people, experience new things and receive recognition for accomplishments.

Youth members set goals, build confidence, learn responsibility and make decisions. The 4-H philosophy for many years has been “learn by doing.”

4-H is a program designed to help youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. National studies reveal that youth 4-H members develop a very good understanding of the big picture of life and find more purpose and meaning in their own lives.

County commissioners learned more about the East and West Otter Tail 4-H Partner Program.

Conservation Days included participation from 456 Otter Tail County 4-H youth members. Project Days in New York Mills and Underwood totaled 133 youth members. Junior Camp included 52 Otter Tail County youths and a Big Splash swimming event in Ottertail city attracted 75 youths.

The University of Minnesota Extension, all across the state of Minnesota, has employees who work not only as extension educators but also work in 4-H youth development. They build relationships with 4-H families and volunteers.

Much of their work is in recruiting, training, supervising and supporting Minnesota 4-H volunteers.