Union County 4-H Students Add Spark To Statewide Gathering

UNION COUNTY– Every year, dozens of Union County students in grades one through twelve join a local 4-H club to explore their favorite interests and activities, and this year a select group of six was invited to demonstrate their knowledge at the statewide 4-H Presentation Contest, held at Rutgers University last month.

“On behalf of the Freeholder Board, I’d like to congratulate our Union County 4-H contest entrants for a job well done,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “Participating in this statewide event is a wonderful testament to their hard work and dedication.”

Union County 4-H clubs cover a broad range of interests and activities including horticulture, history, archery, Lego robotics, cooking, pet care and much more.

4-H is a long running national youth development program. It originated in efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to connect rural youth with up-to-date farming practices and related subjects, through a nationwide network of county-based Extension offices.

In its modern iteration, 4-H offers young people the chance to develop expertise in a wide range of topics while gaining experience in public speaking, organization, team building and other essential skills.

The 4-H schedule runs concurrently with the school year. Each spring the students can provide a formal presentation of their project before a live audience. The presenters who earn a score of “Excellent” are invited to participate in the statewide contest each June.

This year, 175 4-H students participated in the statewide contest, including six from Union County:

  • Kyle Grant of Union (Teen Council) gave a formal speech entitled “High School Expectations.”
  • Adrian Lam of Westfield (Lego Club and Archery Club) spoke about What is PCR? ( PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction).
  • Neeraj Shekhar of Westfield (Teen Council) delivered a talk entitle “Every Drop Counts”
  • Vivek Sreenivasan of Westfield (Lego Club) spoke about “Rubik’s Cubes: The puzzle that puzzled the world.”
  • Michael Stokes of Westfield (Archery Club) spoke about Pole Vaulting.
  • Kirsten Waldmann of Roselle (Living History Club) spoke about Cornhusk Dolls and how to make them.

For those interested in joining or leading a Union County 4-H club, an Open House will be held on Friday, Sept. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices in Westfield, 300 North Avenue East.
To find out more about the open house and all Union County 4-H programs, contact 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz, Nichnadowicz@njaes.rutgers.edu or 908-654-9854 (ext. 3), or visit the Extension online at ucnj.org/rce.

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