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New 4-H clubs begin in 2017

Alabama 4-H and the Chilton County Extension Office will introduce a pair of new clubs beginning in 2017.

The primary additions include Chef 4-H and 4-H Wildlife Club.

Chef 4-H will offer kids ages 9-13 knowledge about cooking, including preparation skills and kitchen safety.

Pam Ousley will be charged with leading the club and has several dishes in mind that are both tasty and healthy.

“There has been an expressed interest in families cooking,” Chilton County Extension Director Gay West said. “We’re trying to foster that with the club.”

The meetings will take place at the Extension Office from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month with the first scheduled for Jan. 24.

As is the case with every club, participants must be active members within Alabama 4-H in order to join. Summer camp is the only exception to the rule.

Several Alabama 4-H clubs work on associating kids with the outdoors, and 4-H Wildlife Club looks to be the latest in that initiative.

According to Jo Walter with Alabama 4-H, the 4-H wildlife club will explore wildlife native to the area and the habitats that they live in. The club is associated with the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program.

“We have an abundance of wildlife in Chilton County, and this will help them to gain a deeper understanding,” West said.

The 4-H Wildlife Club meetings dates include Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13, April 25 and May 8 and will be held at the Extension Office from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“It’s about conservation as much as it is about learning about animals,” Walter said. “The focus will be on how to cohabitate with the world around you.”

For information about the wildlife club, call Walter at (334) 750-2032 or email jaw0023@auburn.edu.

Other clubs include livestock club, which is currently learning about goats, but also has future plans shift its attention to rabbits and also chickens with the Chick Chain event in February.

An Alabama 4-H year begins in August and ends in July. Also continuing in 2017 is Peach Pals, Sewing Club, Chilton County Trotters Club, Sharp Shooters Club, Crow’s Nest Home School Club, Youth Council and the Midwinter Teen Retreat.

According to Walter, 1,292 Chilton County kids between ages 5-18 were members of Alabama 4-H last year.

That number was 16 percent of the county’s youth population. Alabama 4-H’s goal is to continue to grow that number to 25 percent in the near future it project management.

“Our state leadership has really focused its attention toward 4-H over the last three years,” West said. “We’ve also been blessed with resources from the 4-H Foundation.”

Anyone interested in enrolling their children in Alabama 4-H can go online at alabama4h.com and click the “join” button. Adult volunteers are also always accepted by calling Walter.