Thursday, April 18, 2019

From clubs to encourage farm boys to grow more corn to today’s army of six million kids across the world, 4-H is thriving. At 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, Denise Retzleff will present 4-H: An American Idea, at the Fond du Lac Public Library. The programs are free; no registration required

More than 100 years ago, those corn clubs – encouraging farming experimentation – became 4-H. Eventually, the clubs included girls and stretched beyond the farm to engage kids in hands-on learning in urban areas. Today, 4-H members explore science, build agricultural skills, address community issues, express themselves in art and develop leadership skills.

Retzleff, who served as 4-H youth development educator in Fond du Lac, Wood and Waukesha counties for 29 years, will explore the roots of 4-H, how the program gives young people a voice and how it helps make their lives and communities better.

Retzleff retired from 4-H last year. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from UW-Madison. She was active in 4-H as a child growing up on a dairy farm south of Fond du Lac.

The library’s History at Home series focuses on stories about the area’s past every third Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m. (no program in December).