Each year, 4-H Community Clubs and special interest groups are invited to apply for the 4-H Community Pride Grant, an opportunity through the Florida 4-H Foundation that focuses on youth exploring the needs of their community and encouraging them to improve the quality of life of those around them. This year, Escambia County 4-H’s own Barrineau Park 4-H club is a recipient of this grant. Their proposal addresses needs of hunger, mentorship, and agricultural education in our community. With funds given through the grant, the club will purchase a hog, and the supplies for its care, to be raised by an urban youth in conjunction with a 4-H youth seasoned in animal science projects. These youth will work together to monitor the health and nutrition of the hog through a 100 day project that ends with the terminal GCA&NRYO spring livestock show.
During the 100 days, the youth will hope to obtain a buyer, or group of buyers, that will sponsor the project’s final component, having the hog processed and the meat donated to local food distribution venues that serve those in need in our community. The meat will be given to families with a collection of other food items and recipes for preparing meals with their hog products. With these items will also be included information about local agriculture and the benefits of purchasing meat products that have been raised locally. The club hopes that the success of this project will allow for sponsorship of multiple hogs to be raised by mentoring teams for the livestock show in coming years.
This project embodies many of the priority areas being targeted by Escambia County 4-H such as science and research skills, agricultural education, health and nutrition, workforce skills, leadership and mentorship, and community service. 4-H provides opportunities such as this through its unique access to resources provided by local, state, and federal funds granted by those with the vision to educate youth with a “learn by doing” approach. The tenants of 4-H encourage our clubs to recognize needs in their community and apply skills they are learning through 4-H to assist in addressing these needs through projects like this one and in their everyday lives. They are able to take part in these projects with the help of dedicated adult volunteers who support and mentor youth in their project areas as well as in coming up with ideas to funnel their skills into their community. Escambia County 4-H is grateful to the youth and volunteers of Barrineau Park 4-H Club for their dedication to their community and creativity in applying their skills in a tangible and educational way that benefits so many of our residents.
To learn more about this grant and other opportunities through Florida 4-H, visit http://florida4h.org/youth_/awards-and-recognition/group-opportunities/community-pride-awards/