Florida 4-H livestock programs offer youth ages 8-18 an opportunity to explore animal science by raising their own animals. In 2014, 88% of 105 Glades County 4-H club members enrolled in livestock projects and participated in the countywide Glades Youth Livestock Show by exhibiting their completed project. In order for youth to participate, they must be personally responsible for the care of their animal and make daily decisions that directly affect the outcome of their project. In addition, they must keep an up to date record of their project, participate in a community service project and attend 60% of eight monthly meetings.
The Glades County 4-H Program prior to 2010 was primarily a livestock program, but beginning in 2011 the 4-H Archery Program was added and continues to be popular today. This program allows youth 8-18 to participate in archery at little to no cost to the child or their family. Archery allows youth to excel and build self-confidence and social skills even if they are not your typical athlete. At a recent meeting/fun shoot a child who is not physically able to play team sports was heard saying, “This is awesome! If I can do archery I can do anything!” At the same activity a child who only came to watch his sister asked to shoot. When the family left they had tears in their eyes and stated that is the most social he had been in 2 years.
UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones