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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

The revolution of responsibility

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It has been several weeks, months, since I have shared a personal column with you. Last week I received a challenge from one of our prominent professional leaders asking why I had not been writing my columns and he said that he wants to read more columns. I had fully intended to write one last week, but did not get it done. My reply was that I had to get one written for this week, because this is National 4-H Week, Oct. 7-13, and I consider it to be an important subject.

National 4-H Week is a special time for 4-H members and clubs to have special promotions and publicity for 4-H and to recruit members, volunteer leaders and support. Members join the other 4-H members throughout the nation to observe this special week.

The theme for the week is "Revolution of Responsibility." What is the 4-H "Revolution of Responsibility"? It's a movement for positive change in every community in America. 4-H youth are a living, breathing, culture-changing revolution for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing our country forward by making a measurable difference right where they live. That takes an uncommon commitment.

Certainly as you observe 4-H members in action you notice that they are making a positive change in the community in a variety of ways. They do have an uncommon commitment. One of the problems that many employers have in the workplace is with many employees not accepting responsibility.

In just a few minutes at the fair, you notice that the youth exhibiting take on responsibilities and they experience responsibilities with their projects. Many youth growing up do not have opportunities to gain this experience.

They also gain experience in a variety of other ways, in their club and also on the county level. Some take on state roles. This includes holding leadership positions and doing community service. There are many other ways that through 4-H there is a Revolution of Responsibility.

There can be a lot of meaning in this theme. Perhaps we will learn more about why this theme was chosen and more about what it means.

Recent findings from Tufts University's "4-H Study of Positive Youth Development" indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H'ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities. Vernon County folk can take pride with their current 4-H program. It is recognized throughout the state that Vernon County has a great 4-H program.

In last Friday's issue of the Nevada Daily Mail there were two pages devoted to 4-H and National 4-H Week. If you did not see it, you will want to take a look at it. An article was included that discussed the national 4-H week in Vernon County titled "Chicken barbecue kicks off 4-H week in Vernon County."

The chicken barbecue is a major undertaking by the 4-H council. It is a major fund raising event. One way to describe how the funds are used is for leadership development and promotion of 4-H. For the barbecue to be successful it takes a lot of cooperation and help from a large number of individuals.

Stated in the article, which is a good statement, is: "To prepare for the dinner, lots of activity takes place behind the scenes. Planning begins well in advance of the event, and there is a committee for chicken cooking, table setup, slaw packaging and more. The night of the event, volunteers, 4-H members and their families will work in shifts to get it all done."

As I write this column, I have not received any information on how the event went, however I am sure that it was once again successful. Even though, I would have liked to attend the event at the fairgrounds, I chose to have a carry out. One thing that I can report on is that the chicken I had was really good.

My son Brent told me that he had steak at the barbecue and he said it was one of the best steaks he ever had -- now that means it was a good steak. Compliments and appreciation need to be given to everyone involved with the event.

One of the things done by the clubs is window displays. This is a good way to promote 4-H and their clubs.

There are a number of other things that are being done by the members and clubs. The week will be anchored with the recognition night to be held Saturday at the home economic building. This is an important event of the 4-H year

One of the things that happened during the year was establishing a 4-H alumni group on Facebook. All 4-H alumni are invited to join this group on Facebook at Vernon County 4-H alumni.

4-H youth are a living, breathing, culture-changing revolution for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing our country forward by making a measurable difference right where they are living. Learn how you can join the Revolution of Responsibility at www.4-H.org/revolution.

Leonard Ernsbarger
Leonard At Large