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4-H Enrollment Efforts Pay Off

4-H enrollment more than doubled in some North Dakota counties in the past five years.

4-H Archery (Photo: NDSU)
4-H Archery (NDSU Photo)

“I credit our great leaders for the increased enrollment,” says Macine Lukach, an Extension agent in Cavalier County, where membership jumped from 39 in 2011-12 to 92 in 2016-17. 4-H is an NDSU Extension program.

Lukach thinks the 4-H archery program and a new Cloverbuds club also sparked interest in 4-H.

4-H Enrollment Increase
2011 - 2017 ND 4-H Enrollments (Source: NDSU)
Agent Samantha Lahman attributes some of Pembina County’s enrollment increase (70 in 2011-12 to 163 in 2016-17) to residents’ commitment to 4-H. Many younger members are fourth-generation 4-H’ers.

Also, Lahman and agent Kari Helgoe work to build strong 4-H programs, and identify and train leaders. In addition, the agents ensure youth have opportunities to get involved in activities they enjoy and assist the youth any way possible. That includes helping youth do chores for livestock they’re exhibiting at the State Fair and getting 4-H’ers to statewide events such as Citizenship in Action in Bismarck.

“We really strive to put forth the perception that 4-H is for you, and we can find something to interest you,” Lahman says.

In Hettinger County, where enrollment rose from 41 in 2011-12 to 88 in 2016-17, agent Duaine Marxen points to the Extension staff’s strong commitment.

”Our staff make themselves available to 4-H families, not just during office hours, but also on evenings and weekends,” he says.

Such efforts have led to a 19 percent increase in 4-H enrollment statewide in five years. Brad Cogdill, chair of NDSU Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development, says that’s a result of several factors:

  • An intentional effort to promote 4-H as a modern, relevant youth development program and enrollment goal setting
  • An updated Cloverbuds (youth ages 5 to 7) curriculum
  • The highly popular shooting sports program
  • An online enrollment system that makes signing up and enrollment tracking easier

For more information:
Brad Cogdill, 701-231-7259,

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