By Mary Weber, Alcona County Review Staff Writer

"I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world."

-- The 4-H Pledge

Head, Heart, Hands and Health are the four Hs in 4-H and they are the four values its members work on through a wide variety of engaging programs.

More than six million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities stand out among their peers; building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community-wide change at an early age.

With over 500,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals and more than 60 million alumni, the 4-H movement supports young people from elementary school through high school with programs designed to shape future leaders and innovators. Fueled by research-driven programming, 4-H'rs engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.

In rural communities like Alcona County, much of 4-H studies revolve around farming and animals. Their constant care for the animals, health concerns and dedicated training can be seen every summer at the Alcona County Fair.

These young people, bonded together in friendly groups with similar interests, are encouraged to perform their showmanship at the fair. The animals they have been working with for months and years are to be stringently judged and evaluated. The competition is intense, but the 4-H'rs are excited and confident. Whether they receive a grand champion ribbon or are disqualified from entry, they are all winners in a labor of love and education while building friendships and multitude of lasing memories...

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Created on Monday, September 2, 2013