Iron Mountain, Mich. (WZMQ) – The 4-H Coordinator for Dickinson County, Jessica Ice, has served the program part-time for the last several years.
She now serves the position on a full-time basis out of her MSU Extension office on the Bay College West Campus. Ice says that even while we are still experiencing these negative temperatures, the 4-H youth are already planning ahead for fair.
“Right now, 4-H-ers might be in the works of looking at animals, buying animals, raising animals, so that they’re where they need to be by the next time the fair comes around,” she commented.
She pointed out that each individual 4-H club does clinics throughout the year for local youth. Volunteers do different programming with their youth that are both fun and educational. Ice says that the 4-H program is currently seeking volunteers.
Now that she is serving full time in her role, Ice gets to put more careful planning into big spring and summer events, like the 4-H recognition banquet where local volunteers and youth can be recognized for their accomplishments, and some very special pre-college opportunities like exploration days for blossoming young adults.
“We actually have kids from all counties, pretty much, in Michigan who are able to go to MSU for a college-like experience, and take college-like classes,” Ice shared.
Ice is also currently planning for the 4-H Proud Equestrian Program, which is the therapeutic horseback riding program that takes place every summer in August for one week at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.
The Proud Equestrian Program is available to those with physical and emotional disabilities and has been in place for about thirty years.
“Who knows, maybe now that I’ve moved to this full-time position, now I have the opportunity to expand on those important programs in the community that we didn’t have previously. So that’s part of the excitement of going full-time 4-H…..so hopefully that will make a bigger difference for our community.”
The Proud Equestrian Program is 100% fundraised, and Ice noted that those interested in riding in the program, donating and becoming a sponsor of the program, or volunteering can contact her directly at the MSU extension office. She added that one of the Proud Equestrian Program’s biggest sponsors is the United Way.
This spring, the community can look forward to the 4-H’s Labor Day Fun Show, which is a horse show that is put on where all proceeds go to scholarship opportunities for high school seniors who are participating in the 4-H program.