Join the Ranks of the Famous…Join 4-H!

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What do Al Gore, Faith Hill and David Letterman have in common? They were all 4-H'ers.

It's true. Faith Hill reportedly first sang in public at a 4-H mother-daughter luncheon when she was 7. Former Vice President Al Gore showed Angus beef cattle in Tennessee. And before we knew David Letterman as a late-night talk-show host, he hosted a children's television show, "Clover Power," that featured 4-H members.

As we know, they did not grow up to be farmers. So if you think 4-H is all about agriculture and rural America, let me re-educate you on the 4-H of the 21st century.

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Although we are proud of our traditional roots in agriculture and domestic arts, that is not who we are anymore.

Today's 4-H programs focus on science and technology, public speaking, environmental stewardship and more.

4-H youth become community leaders. Many began their leadership role in their community clubs. Members can run for leadership positions at many levels.

Elected offices are not the only measurement of their leadership. 4-H'ers are leaders in trying to improve the community. They lead classes for 4-H Summer Fling and lead by example, working hard on their projects.

4-H leadership has produced 14 governors, 33 university presidents and chancellors and 31 company CEOs.

I hope I have made you curious about 4-H. Would you like to learn more?

Cabarrus County 4-H reached more than 11,000 youth in 2016. There are community clubs throughout the county, and Kids:Plus after-school sites participate in 4-H monthly.

If your child is interested in being part of the same organization as 14 professional athletes, 23 recording artists and four astronauts, come learn more about 4-H at our monthly Clover 101, held on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m.

For more information or to reserve your spot at Clover 101, call me at the N.C. Cooperative Extension's Cabarrus County Center, (704) 920-3310 or email at