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State Fair Ceremony Marks 100 Years of Wyoming 4-H

August 6, 2013 — Add “Hundred” to one of those four H’s in 4-H.

A ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, during the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo in Douglas celebrates 100 years of 4-H activities in Wyoming. The event is outside the Ruthe James Williams Memorial Building on the fairgrounds.

4-H is the youth educational arm of the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. State 4-H program and college representatives are scheduled to participate, as are 4-Hers present and past.

“Thousands of youths have benefited from their participation in 4-H over the past 100 years, and 4-H will reach tens of thousands more moving forward,” says Johnathan Despain, state 4-H program coordinator.

“When parents look at all the opportunities available for their children to participate in, we want them to understand that 4-H has proven its effectiveness longer than any other youth-serving program in the state,” he says, adding that the program creates opportunities “for young people, parents and volunteers to learn and grow together.”

4-H is the largest youth organization in Wyoming, with more than 7,000 members.

“Through our clubs and projects, we are able to match the interests of caring adult volunteers with children to learn and grow,” Despain says. “Together, youths set goals in their interest areas, learn and share what they’ve learned with others all while doing community service, developing leadership skills and challenging themselves to be a better person. Our world needs that more now than ever in the adults who come from being 4-H members.”

Two young ladies show partially cleaned chickens at a county 4-H fair in 1935. Wyoming 4-H will celebrate its 100th anniversary Aug. 17 at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas. (Ludwig-Svenson Studio Collection, American Heritage Center)

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