Area 4-H clubs seeking members

Jared Tucker

October is here, which means Curry and Roosevelt County 4-H Clubs are looking for new members to learn leadership, agriculture and life skills through an array of 200 projects.

Both county 4-H programs are seeking new members through Jan. 1, when current members will be required to re-register.

Melanie Gutierrez, the Roosevelt County 4-H extension agent, said the objective of 4-H is to teach children and teens responsibility, self-esteem and self-motivation so they can better themselves as people.

“We do that through 4-H club meetings, projects, fairs, public speaking and things like that,” Gutierrez said.

Roosevelt County 4-H currently has around 170 active members, and Curry County has 340, according to county 4-H coordinators.

Curry County Extension Home Economist Glenda Belcher, who helps with the program, said livestock, shooting and home economics are the county’s most popular projects.

“It’s just a way that the family do these different projects together, and it just gives them a way to spend more time together,” Belcher said, adding that the organization depends on adults who donate their time to help out and be involved.

Gutierrez said the 4-H program was founded in 1902, and New Mexico 4-H started in 1912 when New Mexico became a state.

Curry County 4-H member Kylynn Thomas, 16, has sewed, shown sheep and participated in meat, wool, foods and livestock contests since she’s been a member.

“You just learn different life skills, and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “You meet a lot of people.”

Thomas said her personality has grown stronger through 4-H, and the program has taught her to cook, sew, introduce herself to people and speak in public. Through 4-H, Thomas said, she’s gained responsibility by memorizing material, studying for contests and caring for sheep every day.

Twelve-year-old New Mexico Christian Children’s Home resident and Roosevelt County 4-H member Samantha James said she got involved in 4-H because she loves animals.

“I like how we get to raise these animals, learning the type of feed to give them and how to prepare them to show,” James said.