Thousands followed ‘Road to College Station’ for Texas 4-H Roundup this summer

Thousands followed ‘Road to College Station’ for Texas 4-H Roundup this summer

COLLEGE STATION – With the theme “The Road Goes on Forever and 4-H Never Ends,” Texas 4-H Roundup marked its 64th year June 7-11 in College Station with a number of “firsts,” according to the event’s coordinator.

“With many new and exciting events, the 2010 Texas 4-H Roundup helped set the stage for a new era of Roundups to come,” said Kyle Merten, Texas AgriLife Extension Service associate and Texas 4-H Roundup coordinator.

Merten said Roundup attracted more than 2,800 people to College Station, almost 300 more than attended last year’s Roundup.

Along with its new features, Merten said this year’s Roundup marked the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation’s 51st year to provide scholarships to Texas 4-H’ers. The Foundation celebrated by awarding more than $2.1 million in higher education scholarships to more than 200 Texas youth.

Texas 4-H Roundup is held annually on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, said Merten. It marks the culmination of many qualifying events at the district level for youth ages 14 to 18.

Roundup includes 50 contests that test 4-H members on life skills such as decision making, public speaking, organization and working with others, Merten said. These contests include fashion show, food challenge, public speaking, various performing-arts events, an assortment of judging contests and educational presentations.

This year’s event had seven new invitational contests and workshops added for youth ages 11 to 14, event coordinators said.

Dr. Chris Boleman, AgriLife Extension’s 4-H state program director, said adding the activities for the intermediate age 4-H members enabled more youth to participate in the Texas 4-H Roundup experience.

“The new events were non-qualifying events designed to let younger 4-H members experience what lies ahead of them as senior 4-H members striving to compete at the state level,” Boleman said.

Other firsts were the naming of Gillespie County 4-H as the champions of the inaugural County Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes and Kerr County 4-H as the champions of the County Livestock Sweepstakes by the Texas 4-H and Youth Development organization.

Another new addition this year was the Texas 4-H Friends & Alumni Trade Show.

Jana Barrett, show coordinator, said the association hosted the fundraiser to lend financial support to Roundup while providing families, 4-H members, and county agents a venue of information on college and technical school opportunities, curriculum, award ideas, business opportunities, livestock projects and stock show information.

“The show was such a success that the association already has plans for a similar event next year,” Barrett said. “We look forward to this activity growing next year and in the years to come.”

Jim Reeves, 4-H Foundation executive director, said an “I Support the Clover” silent auction held in conjunction with the trade show by the 4-H Foundation, raised $14,800 to support future Roundup activities.

“Like this year’s theme ‘The Road Goes on Forever and 4-H Never Ends,’ the Texas 4-H & Youth Development staff continues to challenge the status quo by maintaining Texas 4-H Roundup as a premiere leadership conference now and in the future,” Reeves said.

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