Hamilton County 4-H enrollment deadline changed to Jan. 15

Blake Webel assists his sister, Ashley, in exhibiting a pig during last year’s county fair. (File photo)

Blake Webel assists his sister, Ashley, in exhibiting a pig during last year’s county fair. (File photo)

Jan. 15 is the deadline for youth grades 3 through 12 to enroll in the 2014 Hamilton County 4-H program. This is a change from the March 1 deadline of last year.

Bohde

Bohde

“Having enrollment deadline 45 days earlier will help us get through the process of enrolling everyone early,” Hamilton County 4-H Youth Development Ext. Educator Kathleen Bohde said. “It gets us started in February instead of the end of March. Clubs are already meeting.”

The shift is part of a statewide initiative to streamline the process. Bohde said areas surrounding Hamilton County had different deadlines.

“It got confusing,” she said. “Statewide 4-H enrollment is Nov. 1 to Jan. 15. It gets people placed in the clubs and projects a little bit earlier.”

4-H’ers can enroll at the Purdue Extension Hamilton County office on the 4-H Grounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville, or online at https://in.4honline.com through Jan. 15, at which time Bohde said the website will shutdown. She said the new system is “user friendly” and makes it even more convenient to offer enrollment, event registration, calendars and secure payment online. Those interested in enrolling after the deadline will have to visit the extension office.

“We’ll have a kiosk at our office for those in need of computer access,” Bohde said.

4-H is an informal educational program in which youth “Learn by Doing.” Youth can learn life skills such as cooperation, leadership, decision-making, responsibility and more through hands-on projects in more than 60 different subject areas.

“There are so many options people can choose from. There is something for everyone,” Hamilton County 4-H Executive Director Susan Peterson said. “The higher numbers of enrollment are not in livestock.”

Bohde said there are three subject changes for 2015 in Hamilton County.

“Weeds and 4-H Memories due to enrollment drops have been phased out,” she said.

A new subject, Robotics, is a 4-H club and project. Bohde said a grant from Dow Agro will assist the club to purchase Legos and meet once a month during its pilot year.

“We’re all learning together,” she said. “We’ll have a small competition at the county fair. It’s more cooperation than competition.”

Another change this year is the ability to add and drop projects until June 1.

“This allows 4-H’ers that get into a subject on Spring Break and want to do it as a project,” Bohde said.

The enrollment fee is $25. Mini 4-H, for first and second grade students, does not have an enrollment fee. Payment may be made online or by cash or check at the Purdue Extension Hamilton County office. Hamilton County ranked as one of the largest programs last year with approximately 2,000 4-H’ers.

“We fully expect to be at or above 2,000 this year,” Bohde said.

For more information, visit www.ag.purdue.edu/counties/hamilton or call 776-0854.

The Hamilton County 4-H Fair is July 16 through 21.