Polk County 4-H announces summer programs

Published 12:13 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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COLUMBUS–For years, the Polk County 4-H program has been a vital resource for teaching youth through hands-on learning. With programs offered year-round for children ages 5-18, the organization has become a beloved resource for local youth.

Led by 4-H Agent Helen Blackwell, who has been with the program for over 20 years, the organization aims to engage youth and help them reach their full potential through the development of personal skills. With over 6.5 million members in the United States, 4-H focuses on experiential learning programs where young people are actively involved in their learning.

The roots of the organization run deep in the community. In 1965, the state of North Carolina sold the former jail to the Polk County 4-H Foundation, turning it into a positive gathering place.

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Over the years, the 4-H participants have won numerous awards and participated in numerous events, like livestock shows and horse bowls. 

While the group may have been agriculturally focused in the past, today’s 4-H programs offer a wide variety of classes and clubs. 

This summer, the Polk County 4-H program is offering a series of educational activities for youth called “Summer Fun.” The programs are free, though you need a 4-H online account to sign up.


  • The 4-H Goat Project offers kids ages seven and up the opportunity to learn basic animal husbandry skills. Kids will learn about different breeds of goats, milking, equipment use, record keeping, and how to show the goats in 4-H competitions. The class will take place June 16 through August 25 from 9-11 a.m., shifting to 4-5 p.m. once school begins. 
  • The Career Development class will teach kids how certain careers affect their community. It includes educational tours to showcase agriculture, textiles, and STEM careers. The first class will take place on June 22.
  • The Cloverbud exploration program includes a series of four classes teaching kids various science topics that will take place on Tuesdays beginning June 20. 
  • Beginner Rabbit Husbandry, where children learn how to care for rabbits, starts on June 21.
  • The ‘In Your Backyard’ class will familiarize kids with soil testing, wildlife and plant identification, and will include a day trip to the WNC Ag Center. For ages 9-13, it begins July 14. 
  • The Summer Cooking Class is a 3-day workshop that begins July 25. 
  • STEM exploration teaches kids 8-13 basic science concepts such as flight and magnetism on Thursdays beginning July 6. The Sewing class will teach basic sewing skills to kids nine and up, starting July 31. 

For more information about the Polk County 4-H, call (828) 894-8218.