by Dianne Pinder-Moss
LANARK COUNTY – If you are interested in being part of a 4-H club in Lanark County this year, the Lanark 4-H Association held its annual 4-H “sign up night” on Tues., March 6, from 7-9 p.m. at the Ferguson’s Falls Community Hall, located at 1362 Ferguson’s Falls Road.
For those who assume that 4-H is only for those who live in rural areas and are involved in agriculture, Melissa Renaud, the president and association representative for the Lanark 4-H Association, is quick to dispel that misconception.
“I would personally say, half of our kids, if not more, come from town, or non-rural, non-farm homes,” she noted. “Many parents hear about 4-H and the kids take an active interest. I personally feel it’s so important for kids to know where their food comes from, and when the kids are learning new things, often the parents learn right along with them. It’s so important to me to spread the word and promote agriculture to as many people as we can.
4-H is open to youth ages nine to 21 years of age – Cloverbuds is aimed at ages 6-8 – as of Jan. 1 of this year. During 2017, within the Lanark 4-H Association, there were 143 registered regular members, as well as 15 Cloverbuds.
While the number of clubs that will be taking place in 2018 had not been finalized by press time, Renaud said there is a club for everyone.
“Many livestock clubs allow kids to borrow animals,” she mentioned. “Many baking, cooking, gardening, etc., are not specific for rural kids at all. There are so many options!”
The association president is excited that, for the first time “in many years,” there will be a maple syrup club this year.
Representatives of most, if not all, of the clubs being offered in 2018 were in attendance at the registration night with signup sheets and were available to answer any questions that perspective members and their parents might have.
The biggest need, right now, according to Renaud, is for “more volunteers to get more of these clubs out there for the kids interested.”
Anyone interested in volunteering or seeking more information on the 2018 4-H program in Lanark County is encouraged to contact Renaud at 613-250-0438 or email Melissaruth16@hotmail.com. You can also watch the Lanark 4-H Association website for updates at http://www.4-hontario.ca/4h-in-my-area/lanark/clubs.aspx.