COLLEGE STATION — Bryan-College Station was host to the largest gathering of 4-H members and supporters in the country June 11–14 during Texas 4-H Roundup, said organizers.
“Roundup is the pinnacle annual event for all of Texas 4-H and we welcomed more than 2,100 youth to compete in approximately 50 diverse competitions throughout the week,” said Dr. Courtney Dodd, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service assistant agency director and Texas 4 – H Youth Development program leader, College Station.
Dodd said 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivating confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities.
“More than 55,000 Texas youth are enrolled members of 4-H community clubs in Texas, which are administered through AgriLife Extension as its youth outreach component,” she said.
Dodd said the event attracted about 4,000 people to the Bryan-College Station area, including youth, donors, trade show vendors, AgriLife Extension county agents and family members of those competing or earning scholarships.
“Most of the contests during Roundup were state level competitions for high-school age 4-H members, requiring individuals or teams to qualify at the county and district level, but many of the events were invitational as well,” said Jana Barrett, AgriLife Extension associate, Texas 4-H Youth Development Program, College Station. Invitational events were open to middle- and high-school age 4-H members.
Sarah Hamm, executive director of the Texas 4-H Foundation, said more than 200 Texas 4-H members were awarded more than $2.4 million in scholarships.
Texas 4-H Roundup has been on the campus of Texas A&M University since 1946 and this year marked the event’s 71st time to be hosted by Texas A&M, College Station.
“Texas 4-H also is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year,” Barrett said. “In honor of this celebration, the event was pleased to welcome back former Texas 4-H alumni members as entertainment for the event.
Barrett said attendees enjoyed the music from Shotgun Rider, whose lead singer Logan Samford is a 4-H alum from Castro County and whose group Texas Stampede won the Share the Fun Solo/Band competition in 2010. They were also entertained by hip-hop-style violinist Rhett Price, a Midland County 4-H alum, who also shared his story of personal struggle.
“Price was homeless on the streets of Boston before becoming a YouTube sensation and receiving requests to perform with Lady Gaga, Machine Gun Kelly, Aaron Carter, the Dropkick Murphys and others,” Barrett explained. “He largely credited his work ethic and dedication to his 13 years as a 4-H member, beginning as a Cloverbud, competing in clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, and rabbits, as well as competing in the Share the Fun state competition in 2007,” Barrett said.
The 2019 event is set for June 10-13, 2019 in College Station.
Along with 4-H members, another 600,000 Texas youth get involved in 4-H through special educational opportunities at school, in after-school programs or at neighborhood or youth centers. These youth live in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities. Those who attend 4-H Roundup get the opportunity to display leadership skills, their development as citizens, and team-building and competition skills learned throughout the year.