Lake County 4-H has been a tradition since 1922. In its conception, Lake County 4-H clubs were gender specific and these clubs typically focused on particular projects such as livestock, crops, gardening, and home economics. Lake County’s 4-H program has progressed over the years and now boasts a high enrollment in livestock, horses, citizenship and leadership, and shooting sports projects with a planned shift towards more S.T.E.M projects. Currently, Lake County has 25 Chartered clubs and about 450 active 4-H members. In 2017-2018, the primary focus for Lake County 4-H is being able to expand further and welcome new members and volunteers.
The Lake County Fair has deep roots within the community as it was founded nearly 98 years ago and 4-H members consistently participate during the fair. Members have been heavily involved in the fair by showing livestock animals such as steers, goats, swine, poultry, and rabbits. 4-H fair participants can also show off their 4-H projects in the areas of crafts, art, photography, sewing, canning, and baking.
Lake County 4-H has also a long-standing tradition of extraordinary volunteers. Currently, Lake County has over 100 volunteers. Throughout time, Lake County 4-H has been able to honor several inductions into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame to include Barbara Eveland and Louise Cox in 2002, Cordella and Gene LaRoe in 2007, and Alice Ayers in 2017.
State and National Competitions
Lake County 4-H boasts strength in multiple programs such as shooting sports, horse projects, and horse judging teams. In the past thirteen years, the shooting sports program has sent multiple participants to national and state events with members receiving scholarships for their area of expertise. The Horse Judging and Hippology teams have participated in multiple national and state events and just competed at nationals November 4, 2017. Lake County 4-H has a lot of history and offers plenty of opportunities to continue making the better best.
By Dallas Daniels, Lake County 4-H agent