Area youth, ages 5 to 18, are invited to sign up for Barry County 4-H during the open enrollment period that will continue through Dec. 1.
"You do not have to live on a farm to join 4-H," said Velynda Cameron, 4-H youth development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension. "Project opportunities include computers, robotics, food and nutrition, horticulture, large and small animals and much more."
Children who are 5 to 7 years old are eligible for 4-H Clover Kids, an introductory program. Youth who are 8 to 18 years of age can select from an assortment of 4-H projects and activities that focus on social and life skills including decisions making, communication, social interaction, civic responsibility and physical fitness.
"Agriculture continues to be a strong project area for members in Barry County 4-H with many of the top projects being all in the livestock areas, beef, market goats and poultry," said Jeremy Elliott-Engel, Barry County 4-H youth development specialist.
This year, a new project, Shooting Sports, will be offered in Barry County. Leaders are certified in smallbore .22 caliber rifle and will begin practice in early spring. Youth will be trained in gun safety and precision shooting skills. Competitions are held at the county, regional, state and national levels.
"We know that active youth enrolled in 4-H are more likely to go to and successfully complete college education and are more likely to return and contribute positively to their home communities," said Elliott-Engel.
Missouri 4-H is the University of Missouri Extension's youth development program. The program is designed to help create opportunities for young people to be valued, contributing members of their communities. The national organization is the largest out-of-school youth organization in the world.
To learn more about Barry County 4-H, visit mo4h.missouri.edu or the Barry County University of Missouri Extension office in the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville. The enrollment fee is $10 per youth.
Volunteer opportunities are available for parents and adults interested in participating in the local 4-H program.
For more information, call Cameron at 417-862-9284 or Elliott-Engel at 417-455-9500.