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What do David Letterman, Faith Hill & Al Gore have in common? 4-H! Join 4-H and join the ranks of the famous! What do Al Gore, Faith Hill and David Letterman have in common? They were all 4-H'ers. Faith Hill reportedly first sang in public at a 4-H mother-daughter luncheon when she was seven. Former Vice President Al Gore showed Angus beef cattle in Tennessee and before we knew David Letterman as a late-night talk-show host, he hosted a children's television show, "Clover Power," that featured 4-H members. As we know, these folks did not grow up to be farmers. Although Cumberland County 4-H continues our proud association with local agriculture, 4-H has grown to include a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Today's 4-H programs focus on science, public speaking, environmental stewardship, robotics, creative arts, small animals, horses, engineering and more. Cumberland County 4-H has included a science fiction program called Whoniverse, double dutch jump rope clubs, LEGO programs, and even a 4-H rock band. 4-H youth become community leaders. Through club, county, state and national opportunities, 4-H’ers have the chance to step up and exercise their leadership skills. “In Cumberland County, 4-H’ers demonstrate leadership in so many ways; such as Nikayla Hetzell serving as our South Jersey Youth Rep, Cole Killeen and Hannah Ricci serving as our 2014 4-H Ambassadors or Jason Nestler and Kaylynn Hyson serving on our 4-H Advisory Committee, ”offers County 4-H Agent, Julie Karavan. “The lessons learned in 4-H clearly last a lifetime. We are fortunate to have on board both adult staff and exceptional volunteers who grew up in our Cumberland County 4-H program. These include folks like 4-H Program Assistants Cyndy Hetzell and Cheryl McCormick and the President of our 4-H Advisory Committee, Christian Tice.” Elected offices are not the only measurement of their leadership. 4-H'ers are leaders in trying to improve their communities. They serve as counselors for summer enrichment programs and family workshops, teen teachers for workshops, teen judges for the county 4-H public speaking contest and lead by example on their 4-H projects. 4-H leadership has produced 14 governors, 33 university presidents and chancellors and 31 company CEOs. The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

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