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4-H Extension Corner

By James Shropshire

I hope all of you are doing well in the New Year! I had the pleasure of meeting a very dynamic person or personality this past week and would like to share her point of view. I think we could all do more "To Keep Alabama Clean." She is Auntie Litter.

Pat Mitchell of Birmingham created Auntie Litter in 1990. A former elementary school teacher and mother of three, Ms. Mitchell also founded US inc., a national nonprofit organization that provides environmental education to the general public, especially children. The Auntie Litter program has won many awards including Take Pride in America Award from former President George Bush as well as former President Bill Clinton’s Point of Light award.

Ms. Mitchell, through Auntie Litter, has captured the imagination of thousands of children. Each year, Auntie Litter and the Pollution Patrol, a children’s chorus, lead thousands of enthusiastic children in Auntie Litter’s Earth Day Parade in downtown Birmingham, the nation’s largest Earth Day celebration for children. Firmly convinced education is the key to cleaning up America, Ms. Mitchell utilizes the children’s chorus, printed material, TV, cassettes, t-shirts, coloring books and posters to convey Auntie Litter’s message. For more information contact Auntie Litter at POB 660128, Birmingham, AL 35266.

In fact every school in Alabama has a copy of her material. Make a call and get her to visit your local school. Your Students Will Learn:

• about the dangers posed to the environment

• how to eliminate litter, conserve our natural resources and practice the environmental 3 R’s: Reuse, Reduce Waste and Recycle.

• what they can do to protect the environment.

Auntie Litter is Anti-Litter: their site (http://www.AuntieLitter.org) highlights the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy and clean environment.

Remember, God has only given us one Earth to call home!

I would also like to inform you of another 4-H event to take place here in Alabama.

State 4-H Equine Program sponsors educational horse show and clinic

The Alabama 4-H Equine Program is proud to announce a horse show and clinic which will allow young people, 4-Hers and non-4-H members, who have an interest in horses from across the state to come together to have a good time as they learn more about each other and their common interest. This event, the "2008 4-H Horse-N-Around Show and Educational Clinic" will introduce young equestrians and horse lovers to the 4-H Horse Project and will allow them to prepare for participation in the "4-H State Horse Show" while having fun in the process. This event will take place in Fayette on March 14 & 15 at the new Fayette County Multi-Purpose Complex, a brand new state-of-the-art agricultural complex with an indoor arena.

Planned events cover a wide range from educational events (non-riding) to Western and English riding and will include horse judging and showmanship. Educational classes consist of Horse Quiz Bowl, where participants are placed on teams and their general knowledge of horses is tested; Creative Writing; Model Horse Scene; Photography and Altered Photography. The active "hands-on-horse" ring events include: Horse Judging Competition; Hunt Seat, Flat and Over Fences; Saddle Seat events; Western speed classes including barrels, pole bending and arena races; and western pleasure, reining and horsemanship. Halter and showmanship classes will also be offered. Come early on Friday and participate in a free Natural Horsemanship Clinic.

While the majority of events are geared for youth ages 9-19 years of age, there will be fun events for "cloverbuds," children ages five through eight. These events for the little ones will take place throughout the day on Saturday.

A special treat for participants and spectators will be the opening ceremony featuring drill team performances. These teams are fun and amazing to watch by anyone regardless of their knowledge of horses. The team members are skilled and their showmanship is exciting.

A very unique feature of this show will be the format of the judging. During the ring classes, the judge will offer critique and coaching as in a clinic format in order to enhance the learning experience of both the riders and the spectators.

The objective of the Alabama 4-H Horse program is to utilize equine animals and the equine industry as a means of introducing young people to the knowledge, management, care, exhibition and training of horses and the development of life-skills needed to be contributing members of society. This program is designed to provide youth with hands-on learning experiences and, as such, adults are encouraged to be involved as leaders and mentors. Parents and professional trainers are encouraged to abide by this philosophy and refrain from the riding, training and grooming of animals.

Safety will be practiced at all times during the event. Youth will wear protective helmets whenever mounted on horses during the 4-H Horse-N-Around Show and will be asked to respect property and horses of other participants. This event is designed to be an educational, safe and fun time for all. The pre-entry fees for each show class will be $8; entries after March 1 will be $12; there will be no charge for educational classes.

Vendors are invited to be on the grounds to sell horse-related products. Potential vendors are asked to make prior arrangements for set up by contacting a member of the show committee. The show committee consists of members of 4-H and county extension service staff from six counties in northwest Alabama.

Show packets are available on the Internet by going to www.aces.edu/~legvodl/showpacket or through any local county extension office with 4-H affiliation. For more information about the "2008 4-H Horse-N-Around Show and Educational Clinic" contact the Fayette County Extension office at 205-932-8941. Rules and Regulations, 4-H Conduct Policy and entry forms are contained in the show packet. Show flyer is available at www.aces.edu/~legvodl/flyer.

The Fayette County Multi-Purpose Complex is located off Hwy 43 North in Fayette behind the Wal-Mart shopping area at 650 McConnell Loop.

Until next time, God Bless!

James Shropshire is the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central Alabama Region. E-mail him at [email protected].

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Date Last Updated January, 2006