For 50 years, the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation has been supporting the efforts of 4-H clubs across Oklahoma. On Saturday, past and present 4-H'ers are invited to a 50th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration at Oklahoma State University.
“We're hoping it will be a true homecoming for 4H'ers from all across Oklahoma,” said Jim Rutledge, executive director of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation.
The nonprofit, which was founded in 1962, has more than $6 million to devote to promoting 4-H activities.
“We talk about a choice between a blue-ribbon exhibit and a blue-ribbon kid,” Rutledge said. “Our purpose is to create blue-ribbon kids.”
4-H clubs strive to help young people ages 5 to 18 find solutions to everyday challenges in their communities and in the world, according to 4-h.org. The four Hs are: head, heart, hands and health.
Rutledge spent the day Thursday judging woodworking and mechanical arts projects at the fair. Many people think that 4-H is only about agricultural and home economic sciences.
That may have been the case when 4-H began in 1909, but today's 4-H'ers embrace all the sciences, Rutledge said.
“Nationally, 4-H has a goal to create one million new scientists,” Rutledge said.
From robotics to engineering and technology, 4-H members get exposure to a variety of sciences, including the agricultural and home sciences, which better prepare them to be good citizens, family members and decision makers, he said.
The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation provides financial support to 4-H clubs that public dollars can't, Rutledge said. From sending 4-H'ers to national conferences to providing about $50,000 in college scholarships to Oklahoma 4-H'ers, the foundation invests heavily in Oklahoma kids.
Rutledge said he hopes this first-time homecoming event will be a reunion where 4-H'ers can catch up with friends they may not have seen in many years.
IF YOU GO
50th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration at Oklahoma State
The homecoming event begins at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Wes Watkins Center on the OSU campus in Stillwater. A barbecue lunch will be served at noon and attendees will be treated to tours of the OSU athletics facilities at 1:30 p.m.
Cost is $20 per person. Rutledge said if you're planning to attend, RSVP as soon as possible by calling (405) 744-5390 or by going online to http://
We talk about a choice between a blue ribbon exhibit and a blue ribbon kid. Our purpose is to create blue ribbon kids.”