How 4-H in Colorado connects communities across the state

4-H participants with sheep at the Colorado State Fair

4-H participants compete at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Aug. 27, 2022. (Photo | John Eisele, CSU Photography) 

The 4-H pens at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo were like a cross-section of the state’s 64 counties, with kids from the Front Range alongside those whose high schools have graduating classes in the single digits. 

“There are a lot of people working hard together to make 4-H a great experience for kids and their families,” said Lisa Sholten, a Colorado State University Extension specialist in 4-H youth development, civic engagement and curriculum development. 

Colorado 4-H is delivered by CSU Extension. This year, 4-H programs reached more than 100,000 kids, and more than 13,000 youth are involved in clubs across the state. They completed projects that included everything from rocketry to cake decorating to showing livestock. 

This year, there were 3,010 static 4-H exhibits at the Colorado State Fair, and 1,166 entries for horses and 1,200 entries for livestock. 

“The state fair represents to me how much the kids do and work throughout the year, and how much time our volunteers spend teaching these kids how to learn and grow and be successful,” said Vanessa Tranel, a CSU Extension specialist for 4-H youth development and military partnerships. 

Explore 12 stories about the importance of 4-H in the interactive map below:

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CSU at the 2022 Colorado State Fair

Experience CSU at the 2022 Colorado State Fair through the lens of CSU Photographer John Eisele.