4-H Marks Milestone, Strives to Attract Members

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MILL HALL -- The 4-H organization is celebrating 100 years in Pennsylvania.

These days, there are fewer kids participating than in past years, according to 4-H officials.

The Walbridge sisters are busy getting their sheep ready for show at the Clinton County fairgrounds. Their mom said her girls have dedicated day after day to the animals, all for the final day of judging.

"Most of these kids are juggling their time between sports activities and I think it's important to them enough they make it work," said Ellen Walbridge of Mill Hall.

"I run track, gymnastics, take care of the animals. You just gotta do it all," added daughter Katelyn.

For some, other activities get in the way.

Rebecca Sellers, with Clinton County 4-H, said there are about 20 fewer kids involved county-wide and the 4-H clubs across the state are not faring any better.

"We're a little bit low this year on participation. And that's been a trend across the state with 4-H and that's due to a lot of things they're pulled into," said Sellers.

Still, the organization is trying to attract more kids and is not just about agriculture, according to Sellers. There are opportunities for kids interested in science, engineering and more.

"The face of agriculture is changing, not necessarily your family farms all the time, have to evolve with agriculture, and it's not all about agriculture, you have to evolve with the world."