This week is National 4-H Week, and area 4-H clubs are conducting activities, attending churches, and participating in fun and educational activities designed to promote and celebrate 4-H.

The highlight of this celebration occurs this Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Jenkins Building at the fairgrounds, as Livingston County 4-H holds its annual Recognition Program. The public is invited to support the successes of 4-H youth during the last program year.

Since you live in rural Missouri chances are you know about 4-H already, says Shaun Murphy, regional youth specialist for the University of Missouri Extension. "But, in case you don't, here are some reasons why youth are making a difference in 4-H."

• Did you know that 4-H is the largest youth organization in the world, with more than six million members in the United States? Livingston County 4-H has the largest youth membership in our region, with 450 members from 14 clubs.

• Did you know that youth from right here in Livingston County will travel to places like Washington D.C., Georgia, and beyond in 2012-13?

• Did you know that Livingston County has two regional representatives to the State 4-H Council (Nick Dungy and Marcie Eggers), and a member of the State Council executive team (Courtney Brown)?

• Did you know that 4-H youth are less likely to engage is "risky behavior" and perform better at school than their peers, according to the latest research from Tufts University?

• Did you know the fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, "learn by doing" experiences encourage youth to experiment, innovate, and think independently? Four-H programs are offered through school-based, after-school and camp settings, and within community clubs

• Did you know that the 4-H emblem has the same protection as the Olympic rings?

• Did you know that Livingston County's 4-H L.I.F.E. program is impacting families of incarcerated mothers in Chillicothe, through 4-H club visits and parenting classes inside the prison?

• Did you know that youth who participate in 4-H are more like to do better in school, participate in community service, and more likely to be citizens in the highest contributing group?

To learn how to become a 4-H member or volunteer leader, contact the University of Missouri Extension office at 660-646-0811 or

National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H Headquarters (USDA). The 4-H programs are implemented by the 106 Land Grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System, through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Learn more about the 4‑H adventure at