Holmes County 4-H is stronger than ever in 2024

Holmes County 4-H is stronger than ever in 2024

Plenty of activities like 4-H Camp, club gatherings and more help bring area youth together through 4-H. Holmes County continues to boast a strong program, with the addition of a 23rd club this year along with record numbers participating.


For decades Holmes County 4-H has been a haven for kids to grow and nurture their work ethic and build teamwork while developing many other skills that will help them later in life.

Based on this year’s numbers, that program shows no sign of slowing down.

Holmes County 4-H sign-ups have been completed, and now the 22 county clubs are preparing for a busy summer of activities.

The total number of youths who signed up to participate in the county’s clubs this year now stands at 483, an increase of 63 young people from 2023.

That number includes 430 traditional 4-H club members and 53 Cloverbuds. With an additional 26 youths participating from county FFA chapters, that brings the total number to 509 members.

As those youths begin to invest their time, money and effort into their summer projects, it stands to reason this will once again be a busy and productive summer for Holmes County’s youth.

There will be 861 youths who have signed up to raise livestock projects while another 110 have signed up to take on a variety of Lifeskills projects that range anywhere from rocketry and photography projects to sewing, baking, public speaking and hundreds of other possible project options.

In order to provide avenues of exploration, education, group unity and fun among the clubs, it takes a large number of volunteers who devote their time and energy to leading these young people through the joys of 4-H.

There are eight new volunteer leaders joining the already large field of 130, bringing that total number to 138 volunteers, without whom the 4-H program could not exist.

“We continue to grow, and we’re excited to see where this year’s 4-H program takes us because we have a lot of kids signed up to do some awesome things,” said Ella Lorentz, OSU Extension Holmes County 4-H educator.

Of the 110 Lifeskills projects, the majority of those signed up will work in natural resources, art and shooting sports. Natural resources include fishing, exploring ponds and canning while art projects include photography, cake decorating and writing.

Those projects will be judged prior to the Holmes County Fair in a collective effort at Harvest Ridge this summer.

As youths begin to prepare their livestock projects for the fair, the numbers reveal a variety of animals in which they are investing their time and effort into raising.

Included in that are 217 poultry projects including market chicken (70), fancy chicken (8), market turkey (62), fancy turkey (2), market duck (67), fancy duck (7) and egg production (1).

There are 213 swine projects; 147 rabbit projects that include market (98), breeding (36) and pet (13); 88 goat projects that include market (55), breeding (13), dairy (13), pack (2) and pygmy (5); 57 sheep projects that include market (44) and breeding (13); and 42 other animal projects, among them equine (23 exhibitors), dog (16 exhibitors) and llama (3 exhibitors).

In the cow category, there will be 59 raising beef animals including market (33), breeding (12) and feeder (14), and in the dairy category, there will be feeder (10), heifer (10), cow (9) and calf (9).

Important dates for those raising animal projects this summer will be the Livestock Skill-a-thons on Thursday, July 18 and Monday, July 22 and the livestock clinics and skill-a-thon practice on Monday, July 15.

“We have a lot of great things happening, and we all know that we are here to support one another and make things as great as they can be,” said Janessa Hill, extension ag and natural resources educator.

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