On Thursday, August 1, 2013 WGNA is hosting a special country night at Vapor in Saratoga Casino and Raceway to help the Saratoga County 4-H and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Since we started the campaign, several people have asked about the programs offered by these organizations. Mary L. Fairley from Cornell Cooperative Extension takes a few moments to answer some questions.

What is the 4-H?

4-H is the youth component of Cornell Cooperative Extension.  In Saratoga County the program engages over 10,000 youth annually in 4-H clubs, schools, afterschool programs, camps, and special interest programs.  4-H provides a framework on which young people ages 5-19 build self-confidence, responsibility, and generosity.  Hands on programs offer kids experiences in science, technology, nutrition, plant and animal science, public speaking, and community service.

How does a fundraiser like this help the programs of the 4-H?

Additional funds enable 4-H to enhance current and emerging programs with educational resources such as GPS units, robotics kits, working models of horses and cows and microscopes.  Also, the 4-H Training Center, a one of a kind educational facility, can continue to be viable and available for 4-H clubs and community organizations as a site for programs.  It also means that 4-H members are able to participate in experiences outside of Saratoga County in our national and state capital, on the campuses of Cornell University and Cobleskill College, and other locations.  These experiences provide training in leadership and presentation skills, career development, the democratic process, and a variety of subject matters.

What programs are in need of funding the most?

4-H needs to be able to continue to provide programming in these 3 major focus areas of 4-H: citizenship, science and technology, and healthy living with the most up to date , enticing, fun educational resources.  Simply put 4-H needs to have things like internet access at the 4-H Training Center and such educational tools as robotics kits and scientific equipment like microscopes.

What does the Cornell Cooperative Extension do to help local farmers?

From a 4-H perspective we prepare kids to pursue an education in the field of agriculture and return to Saratoga County to actually work in the industry be it on a family farm or with an agricultural business.  For the adults already in the farming business Cornell Cooperative Extension provides direct education and support with new techniques, products, and processes.  CCE also links farmers with experts in the field from Cornell University and other land grant universities.

Other than farming and agriculture, what is another important thing Cornell Cooperative Extension has done to help people in the Albany-Saratoga area?

Young people have acquired knowledge and skills to become competent adults and active community members.  As one alumnus shares – the public speaking skills learned led me to a career in the field of public relations and communications.  Collaborative efforts with many service minded organizations such as Lions, Rotary, Military Bases, and the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.



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