Contact: Sheila G. Kelley
CSU Extension Agent/Interim Director
4-H Youth Development
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 23, 2010
WHAT IS BETTER? A BLUE RIBBON 4-H MEMBER OR BLUE RIBBON
By Sheila G. Kelley, CSU 4-H Extension Agent, Elbert County
KIOWA—The Elbert County fair is next week and everyone is invited to attend! You’ll
see numerous 4-H projects, open class exhibits, commercial vendors and more. You’ll
also be able to see positive youth and adult development in action.
The fair is the culmination of a years’ hard work. It’s a big time for the 4-Her. What
ribbon will I get? Will I be able to go on to state fair competition? These types of
questions are always on a 4-H members mind. However, the main question of the overall
4-H program is this: is it better to have a blue ribbon 4-H member or a blue ribbon
Getting a blue ribbon on their project is the strived-for award at the fair. However, the
six character attributes taught in the Character Counts! program helps 4-H youth realize
the importance of being a blue ribbon person rather than only be focused on a blue ribbon
project. Penn State Cooperative Extension uses the Character Counts! curriculum and
includes the following characteristics in their code of conduct requirements.
The 4-H program strives for its members to learn trustworthiness, respect,
responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These attributes help the child be a blue
ribbon member no matter the quality of their project.
A member will be worthy of trust, honor, and confidence and be a model of integrity
by doing the right thing even when the cost is high. They are expected to be honest in all
their activities and keep commitments they have pledged.
They will show respect, courtesy, and consideration to everyone, including
themselves, other program participants, and those in authority. They will appreciate
diversity in skill, gender, ethnicity, and ability. Elbert County 4-H does not tolerate
statements or acts of discrimination or prejudice.
Being in 4-H teaches youth to be responsible, accountable, and self-disciplined in the
pursuit of excellence. They strive to live up to high expectations so they can be proud of
their work and conduct.
4-Hers work to be just, fair, and open while they participate in events fairly by
following the rules, not taking advantage of others and not asking for special exceptions.
They learn to be caring in their relationships with others and to be kind and show
compassion for others. They are encouraged to treat others the way they want to be
They continually strive to be a contributing and law-abiding citizen with a respect to
the environment and contributions to the greater good.
If you would like further information on the 4-H program, please contact the
Extension Office in Elbert County at 303-621-3162, El Paso County at 719-520-7681,
Lincoln County at 719-743-2542. 4-H is a cooperative effort between CSU Extension and