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4-H Youth program offers two new opportunities in Okaloosa County

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The UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County is offering two new fun and educational opportunities for youth in our area. These opportunities include the 4-H Forest Ecology Team and the 4-H Meat Judging Team.

Youth, ages 8 to 17 years old, who enjoy the great outdoors, hiking and learning more about our forests may be interested in joining the Okaloosa County 4-H forestry ecology team. Team members will be involved with fun outdoor learning and gain hands-on experience in the forestry industry.

Participants will learn how to identify trees, bugs, tree diseases as well as how to use a compass and how to measure the size of trees.

niceville larry williams

Larry Williams

If you or your child (ages 8 to 17) enjoy grilling out or want to be better able to pick out that perfect steak or cut of meat, the Okaloosa County 4-H Meat Judging team may be just the fit. Meat Judging trains young people in decision-making skills related to the evaluation of wholesale and retail cuts of meat.

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Participants will learn to evaluate meat quality and how to determine lean-to-fat proportions of retail and wholesale cuts. Members also will learn how to identify retail cuts of beef, pork, and lamb as well as the wholesale cut name, retail cut name, type of cut, and recommended cooking methods.

These events lead to a competitive contest for the youth so they will need to practice.

For more info, including how to sign up, contact Ronnie Cowan, UF/IFAS 4-H Extension Agent for Okaloosa County, at rcowan1@ufl.edu or by calling (850) 689-5850.

Extension is an informal education organization that provides information in three main areas: Agriculture (which includes horticulture), Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) and 4-H (Extension’s youth program). Community Development, Marine Biology and Energy are associated programs.

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4-H is the youth development organization of the University of Florida IFAS Extension Program, as well as through each land grant university across the United States.

Through America’s land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, over 600,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals and more than 25 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

For more information about the 4-H Youth program in Okaloosa County, contact Ronnie Cowan, UF/IFAS 4-H Extension Agent for Okaloosa County, at rcowan1@ufl.edu or by calling (850) 689-5850.

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@myokaloosa.com.

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