Fremont County 4-H celebrates 100 years during upcoming event
Riverton – With 100 years of Wyoming 4-H, Fremont County 4-H is also celebrating its centennial with a big event next week.
“On Feb. 14, we will be hosting a social hour and dinner, with entertainment by Baxter Black and Austin Wahlert,” says Fremont County 4-H Extension Youth Specialist Alex Malcolm, noting that the event will take place in the Fremont Center, known to many as the Old Armory, on the Fremont County Fairgrounds.
“The idea started a couple of years ago,” Malcolm continues. “One hundred years is really significant for an organization to stick around. We wanted to do a celebration to kick off the next 100 years and celebrate our past.”
After the 2013 Wyoming State Fair, a planning committee delved into preparing for the fundraiser and celebration event.
The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner, catered by a local caterer. The event is only open to adults aged 18 and older.
“We wanted to make this an adult’s night out for our volunteers,” Malcolm says.
“Baxter Black will do his show following dinner, and Austin Wahlert of Colorado is brining his band to play during the event,” he explains. “We will also have a silent auction during the entire event.”
Malcolm notes that the event is a fundraiser, but they also look to recognize and thank their volunteers.
“We set this event up also to be a way to pay back our volunteers and sponsors,” he says. “We appreciate the time they have spent to help and mentor our youth.”
Fremont County 4-H is the second oldest county youth program in the state, coming in second to the Sheridan County program that was started several months prior to Fremont’s.
“We have approximately 550 students enrolled in 4-H annually, with about 250 volunteer leaders,” Malcolm says. “We have the second largest 4-H member enrollment and the most volunteer leaders in the state.”
Fremont County 4-Hers are involved in a wide variety of projects.
“Our livestock projects are one of the larger projects, particularly the horse and swine projects,” he comments. “Shooting sports is also very significant.”
Static exhibits, including photography, cooking and visual arts are also popular in the county.
Changes over time
Over the last 100 years, Malcolm says, “We haven’t changed much in that we are a youth development program delivering educational opportunities to youth and adults. That has remained strong and consistent since the beginning.”
However, he continues that the needs of youth and adult volunteers continue to change as technology and students’ interests change.
“We are trying to reach out to meet the needs of different clientele, including those in urban areas,” Malcolm adds. “We are expanding into projects like sportfishing, robotics and legos to try to reach that particular audience.”
He continues, “In terms of leadership, communication and the traditional 4-H programs, we haven’t changed much over the last 100 years.”
Tickets are available at the Lander Extension Office, Riverton Extension Office, Western Supply, Amp Electric and the Lander Chamber of Commerce.
“We still have a few tickets available,” Malcolm comments. “We hope everyone comes down and enjoys the event.”