Feb 14, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterOther anniversary events are planned through the summer.
A Valentine's Day dinner and show kick off the 100th anniversary of Fremont County 4-H this year.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with a meal at the Fremont County Fairgrounds Fremont Center.
At 7:30 p.m., cowboy comedian Baxter Black will take the stage to entertain the crowd.
"He's kind of like the Michael Jordan of basketball, (but) in his realm," University of Wyoming Extension educator Alex Malcolm said. "He's very well known."
Black, a former veterinarian, has visited Fremont County in the past to share humorous stories and poems about his experiences in the agricultural industry.
"He hasn't been here for a little while, so we thought we'd try bringing him in," Malcolm said. "He's a good supporter of youth programs, both 4-H and FFA."
After Black leaves the stage Friday, singer and songwriter Austin Wahlert of Colorado will provide live music for the rest of the night.
The evening, including dinner and entertainment, costs $50 in advance and $60 at the door; tickets are available at the Lander and Riverton 4-H Extension offices, the Lander Chamber of Commerce and Western Supply in Riverton, or by calling 857-3654.
"It's a great opportunity to come down and support the Fremont County 4-H program," Malcolm said. "If you haven't got your Valentine's Day date planned yet, here is a great opportunity to do that as well."
Malcolm said more events are planned to celebrate 100 years of 4-H in Fremont County.
"This is our payback to the volunteers, businesses and sponsors (who) have donated time and effort," Malcolm said.
The Fremont County 4-H Carnival in May will recognize the centennial, he said, and more 100-year activities will take place during the Fremont County Fair and Rodeo this summer. Later in the season, a gathering is likely to take place at the 4-H Youth Camp above Lander.
"This only comes around once in a lifetime," Malcolm said of the 100-year anniversary. "It's hard to find a youth program or any kind of program that's been around that long that's been this successful."
No 4-H club has been in place locally for the entire century, but Malcolm said the Arapaho 8 ½ group is 75 years old. Fremont County 4-H includes 492 members and 324 adult volunteer leaders.
"(And 4-H) in general is the largest and oldest youth program ... in the nation and state," Malcolm said, adding, "It's all driven by volunteers getting the kids involved (and) being that mentor for kids."
Membership in the voluntary, informal education program is available to youth ages 8-18. Younger children age 5-7 can be part of 4-H Cloverbuds.
4-H stand for "head, heart, hands and health."
UW's Extension receives funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, the state of Wyoming and the local county for 4-H. A variety of private donors also fund Extension programs.
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