Here's some of the latest news from the San Luis Valley 4-H program.

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SLV News Highlights

Valley 4-Her Laura Morfitt of Moffat took home the top award for her Wildlife 4-H exhibit at the Colorado State Fair this week. Her project, along with award winners from more than 30 other local 4-Hers, will be on display during the State Fair, which runs through September 6 at the state fairgrounds in Pueblo.

This year’s San Luis Valley Area Fair featured a number of special 4-H contests, including a fashion revue, cake decorating contest, cupcake decorating contest, and robotics competition. A diverse group of 4-H youth, from around the valley competed in these contests and a select few took home top honors.

Valley 4-H member Kristine Hoffner of Saguache County, along with teammates from Gunnison County, won first place in the team Consumer Choices contest at the Colorado State 4-H Conference, June 20-23 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The Consumer Choices competition is a judging and reasons contest where youth practice decision making by comparing items and placing them based on product standards. As State Champions, the team will go on to compete at the national Consumer Choices competition next winter at the Western National Roundup in Denver.

“4-H has made me the leader and person I am today, and being able to compete on a team with three other talented 4-Hers and win was amazing,” said Hoffner, 16. “I am so excited to be going to nationals again, and can't wait for the many more opportunities that the 4-H program has in store.”

The San Luis Valley 4-H youth development program is looking for adults to share their knowledge as volunteers. These volunteers will leverage their experiences and interests to help youth build life skills in various subject areas.

“Volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of the wide variety of learning experiences they are presented with in 4-H,” said Amy Henschen, 4-H Extension Agent with Colorado State University. “We are currently looking for adults to serve as project leaders or help with workshops and school programming so we can better serve youth in the Valley.”

Every dollar county, state and federal agencies invest in the Colorado 4-H Program is returned to the state’s economy six times over. That’s one of the findings of a new Colorado State University study evaluating the economic contributions of the youth development program.

“This is a conservative estimate of the contribution of 4-H,” said Rebecca Hill, a CSU extension research economist and author of the study. “In addition to the monetary benefits, there are other benefits that are not easily quantifiable.”