4-H University aims to ‘Make the Best Better’ | News

MAYO — Jana Hart, County Director of 4-H, and two of her members spoke about the events put on for the teenage 4-H program, 4-H University and Legislature at the Mayo Rotary Club. 

Kassity Folsom spoke about the participation side of 4-H University, while Dustin Hart spoke about what it is like from an adult’s point of view. 

There are three different main areas a member can join. Folsom explained 4-H members are usually placed in each area depending on how many years they have been a member. First years are usually the lobbyist, second and third years are representatives, and fourth year and up is senators. 

“There are two ways a bill can go,” Folsom said. “Either it can be labeled a salt bill, meaning it failed, or the hot sauce bill which is the first bill to pass.”

The 4-H University takes place at the University of Florida for one week. There are workshops led by UF faculty and community service activities. This event is for all the 4-H programs in the state of Florida.

“There is an event called Share the Fun,” Folsom said. “It is like a talent show that anyone can participate in. Dustin has a band and they played. And like every 4-H event, there was a dance.”

Dustin Hart spoke about his time working at and being the adult in charge of the 4-H University trip.

“Being an adult was completely new to me,” Hart said. “I was used to being on the committee that ran 4-H University. It’s really impressive to see the other side of it. Especially, coming from being a student to an adult.”

Hart spoke about there being three different learning areas leadership, service and competition. There are the students that go there just for the competition for food preparation, public speaking, demonstration or something else.

“During the first few days there are workshops called fun shops,” Hart explained. “The students go around, and have a chance to go to six different workshops. They are set up by either UF or by 4-H agents and the workshop I helped with was the dance set up, because they needed someone who could run a computer and sound system.” 

One of the other workshops was an escape room. Hart said 4-H University stuck to its motto, “Make the Best Better” and they do. During the service portion the students have two tracks they go to. The service track and discovery track. 

The discovery track is where student go out and learn about what they sign up for. For example, Florida Natural History Museum, biomaterials, or meat sciences where they go to the UF meat lab. 

The service track is doing service projects. This lasts for half a day where the students can go to the Florida Natural History Museum and pick weeds, help at a pig farm, or volunteer at nursing homes.