Happenings With Union County 4-H – Mark Cathcart

January 31, 2024

New Year! New Goals! New Clubs! New People!

The new year brings the opportunity to get things back on schedule here in Union County. The Union County Agricultural Fair consumes most of October and Thanksgiving and Christmas family time suspends our regular meeting schedules.  January is a time to get back to the task at hand, positive youth development. With a list of clubs provided by Union 4-H such as Trail Blazers, Shooting Sports (archery/BB gun), Baking Buddies, Poultry, Forged In 4-H, and a new Fishing club, staying involved, engaged, and busy is easy to do. We do our best to provide various types of clubs to reach the interest of as many youths as possible in our county.

Forged In 4-H hit the ground running in 2024! Forged In 4-H is a blacksmithing club that teaches the trade and art of blacksmithing. It is unique to Union, as it is the only program of its kind offered in South Carolina. The club was invited to set up a booth January 4th and 5th at the Grand American held in Orangeburg, SC. The Grand American is the largest wild racoon hunt in the southeast and one of the largest in the country. Over a two-day period 10,000-20,000 people will attend this event each year. Contestants come from as far away as South Dakota and Texas. Along with the blacksmithing demonstrations, we took our shooting trailer to promote 4-H Shooting Sports and raise money to support the clubs. 4-H’ers maned the booth, did demonstrations, assisted shooters, and interacted with people to promote 4-H on a national level!

A new thing coming in 2024 is the 4-H Fishing Club. A spinoff of the popularity of 4-H fishing day camp, the fishing club will meet monthly to learn about fishing gear, fishing techniques, safety, natural resources conservation, and many other things. The plan is to also meet at some fisheries to put learned skills into practice and possibly a fieldtrip to a fish hatchery.  Stay tuned to “Union County SC 4-H” Facebook page for future catch pictures.

The Union County Agricultural Fair received an agricultural award from the South Carolina Association of Fairs at the Georgia/SC Fair Association Conference. The award recognized the partnership between Union Chapter of FFA and Union County 4-H in their efforts to establish a rabbit project and show at the Union County Agricultural Fair. Through this partnership FFA/4-H Members and the special needs class at Union County High School were able to show their rabbits that they raised through the project. This has been a great project and demonstrates the things that can be accomplished when organizations work together for a common goal, opportunity, and positive youth development!


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