Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently received word that Illinois will soon start charging families $20 per child a year to join 4-H. It isn't a matter of if anymore, it is a matter of when. I am not pleased with this and will be writing my share of letters opposing this. Comments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Okay - I am not in IL - but I am curius about this. Is the $20 charge coming from the state extension? What is the reason behind it? What will the money be used for? I am asumming that this charge is on top of any fee the kids would pay locally to be part of a club - but I am also wondering if even after the $20 - are they still expected to pay for their books?

I am a past 4H member, now a 4H mom and leader but have never heard of something like this. Hope you can share more about it!
 

·
STILL not Alice
Joined
·
20,762 Posts
That's Blago for you. Takes care of his friends, but 4-H? Heck, if his kids aren't interested in it, it's a waste.

You can and should write letters, but let's face it... It probably won't work.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
Here in PA it is $10 per child. If I remember correctly, any child in an equestrian project also paid an additional $10 for insurance. I think $10 is reasonable, but $20 is much too high. I would start making many phone calls and writing lots of letters.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
In Ohio there is no per-child fee that I know of. We pay around $5-10 per project book. Clubs vote on whether or not to have dues. Our club doesn't. Some clubs charge a dollar or so for insurance, like the Shooting Sports club. We just hold a fund raiser or do a work project if we need to earn money (last time it was doing the trash detail at a small fair--hard but got us $400!).

However, with the miserable state of Ohio's budget and with local economies reeling from the sharp drop off in local revenues, I have wondered if 4-H will still receive funding in the future. I think I'll just stock up on the free self-determined project circulars and be prepared to continue on in that vein. 4-H doesn't have to cost a lot of money. While it is great for the kids to be able to exhibit their projects at the local fairs, if those dried up then we could exhibit at any local festival or event. Granted, the big dollar livestock auctions would be greatly missed, but I have had my ethical issues with those all along. Selling a (possibly artificially muscled, chemically fed) steer for an inflated price to a corporation that is using the purchase as a write-off for taxes doesn't exactly give one an accurate picture of cattle farming, IMO.

I just agreed to present a seminar on Making 4-H Relevant at our county advisors' update in January. Now I may have to add in, relevant at what price.

Anyway, I am sorry to hear of rising prices, but am not surprised. I fear, like most of this mess, it will get worse before it gets better.
 

·
AppleJackCreek
Joined
·
3,717 Posts
$20?!!!

We pay $63/year (CDN) to be in 4-H (that is district and regional fees combined). You can be in as many projects as you want, and insurance and so on are covered. District events like the summer 'fair' have additional fees (per kid, about $50 for a weekend event, plus per animal, $10/sheep, more for horses and cattle) ... regional events usually have a per-participant fee of $5-10 ... and your project costs (animals, feed, etc) are of course, your own.

The district achievement day and auction is all covered for everyone, though. This year our club is reimbursing membership fees for any member who completes their full year, from the money we have raised.

I had no idea 4-H was so inexpensive south of the border!
 
G

·
Darn it! Just when we were moving to IL, too!

I was in 4-H for about 10 years and I'd gladly pay $200 for the experiences I had. Honestly, compared to other activities like Scouting and tae kwon do lessons, that $20 is NOTHING. I just got done paying $60 per kid for Scouts and TKD lessons at the City Park Dist. are $43 for 3 months.

I'm still going to see if my kids can be in 4-H in the little town we're moving to. It's still one of the best deals around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We pay a one time dues to our club when joining. When exibiting livestock there are also fees involved. Our club pays for our first two project books and then parents are responsible for the rest. I feel $20 per child per year is excessive, especially when our county admitted that 4-H money turned in does not goe directly back to 4-H. It is put into a "pot" and given to whatever might need it. If it comes from 4-H it needs to go directly back to 4-H. Our county can not tell us where our 4-H money goes. I would gladly pay dues if it stayed with our club, not distributed throughout the county for other things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also I know there are families that will not be able to afford this and would most likely drop out. Without children, you have no 4-H. They could not explain what the $20 would go for? Probably paying salaries in the extension office???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
In our county, it is $2.00 per member, with a max of $10 per family. They have 3 fundraisers per year. Each family brings treats/drinks to the meetings, and each family has to mow the ballfield once per year. You can, if you choose to buy a tee shirt for $7.00

The biggest income source is the 4H animal auction at the county fair. Business pay $100's more than the true value, but it keeps all involved. The kids get 95% of the sales price with the club keeping 5%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I might be stepping on some toes here, being a new member and all. But if you can't afford 20$ dues a year, how can you afford to feed a livestock project?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
Our County 4-H doesn't have any fee for the children. We pay for the books (about $4) and there are some projects that we pay a minimal fee for (like when we went to the florist to do floral arrangements we paid $5 to cover her costs). We also do not pay for entries into the fair, although I'm not sure about livestock. Although $20 may not sound like a lot, it is high for 4-H which usually has minimal costs. I still think at $20 though that 4-H is a wonderful opportunity for the kids and well worth the money spent, if that is what my county charged, I would pay it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
travlnusa--we also have the same type of fundraisers, charging $2 per person with no family limit. I have no problem with this because it stays with our club in our club funds and is used specifically for the kids.
vezoo--not everyone in 4-H does livestock projects. There are also children who do model rockets, electricity, forestry and can put together a project with minimal cost. If for some reason the family needed help paying such costs, I believe it could come out of the club fund with no questions asked. It is not completely about the money. If the money stayed with our specific club and was used for the children, I would not have a problem. My problem is that the money is going directly to the county extension and on to the state, put into a slush fund and used to fund whatever program needs the money at the time or whomevers salary is short. I want the money to stay with the children, not funding some fat cats vacation or ect... Once the money hits the extension office it is difficult to get money back from them for anything. Right now we are in a fight to help pay for awards for the kids and we still have judges from August whom have not recieved their paycheck. 4-H money should stay with 4-H and benefit only the children, no one else.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,938 Posts
You're lucky! Our enrollment fee just went up to $40 per child! Of course, they are offering 'scholarships' for those who can't afford it, and if you do get one, you CANNOT do a large animal market project, as they assume you can't afford to do one. That fee is in addition to the club dues, which vary but are usually 10 or 15.00. Books for projects in Colorado run about 2.00 or so each, or can be downloaded for nothing from the internet. We almost didn't have 4H this year due to budget cuts in our county, and the lack of funding for the extension service, but the state decided to continue for one more year and see if the funding is going to be there. Jan in Co
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is just plain ignorant. They are ruining 4-H and loosing the whole purpose of the program. For a program that runs almost completely on volunteers the whole "gimme gimme" attitude is unreal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
I beg to differ. Illinois has a terrific 4-H program...I'm in Nebraska and am aware of the educational/fun things they have for 4-H. You just have to look on their web site.

$20 a year is a very reasonable amount. About $1.67 a month per child, only a few pennies a day. Even with 5 children - that's less than $10/month.

I don't know about you - but programs like 4-H, Scouts and Civil Air Patrol are worth it!

If your family truly can't afford it, contact your local extension office. Explain the situation - they may already have some things in place for families in financial hardship.

We gladly pay the year dues to belong to Civil Air Patrol which costs more than 4-H per child. We do it because we believe the program costs are minimal compared to what our family gets out of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
My problem is that the money is going directly to the county extension and on to the state, put into a slush fund and used to fund whatever program needs the money at the time or whomevers salary is short. I want the money to stay with the children, not funding some fat cats vacation or ect... Once the money hits the extension office it is difficult to get money back from them for anything. Right now we are in a fight to help pay for awards for the kids and we still have judges from August whom have not recieved their paycheck. 4-H money should stay with 4-H and benefit only the children, no one else.
You really need to get into your extension office and learn more. Ask questions. None of that is happening and instead you are spouting off about a $20 fee because your irritated. Go ahead and be irritated but don't be accusing people of something when you have no idea. County accounts are strictly audited because they are under the umbrella of county government. The money just doesn't "disappear" into the program - you can find out. You go to your county board/county extension board and ask.

You may also be surprised to learn that many ag societies or county fair boards pay judges salaries and fair premiums - not the extension office.

There was a huge change in how our clubs could handle money this year but it was due to the tax code, and to protect clubs from any risk of money being mishandled. Same for Civil Air Patrol, our local squadron no longer does its own banking it all goes through our Wing Headquarters.



That is just plain ignorant. They are ruining 4-H and loosing the whole purpose of the program. For a program that runs almost completely on volunteers the whole "gimme gimme" attitude is unreal.
Who do you think develops the curriculum? Where do you think the printed materials come from? The trainings? The people that put on the programs for the youth? Who opens up the 4-H office for meetings, to get things ready for the county/state fairs?

Sure there are volunteers - lots of volunteers - but it takes lots of people who help train and coordinate those volunteers, make sure the programs curriculum is up-to-speed.

Amazing - if you think $20 is a part of a "gimme gimme" attitude - you are sorely mistaken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You really need to get into your extension office and learn more. Ask questions. None of that is happening and instead you are spouting off about a $20 fee because your irritated. Go ahead and be irritated but don't be accusing people of something when you have no idea. County accounts are strictly audited because they are under the umbrella of county government. The money just doesn't "disappear" into the program - you can find out. You go to your county board/county extension board and ask.

You may also be surprised to learn that many ag societies or county fair boards pay judges salaries and fair premiums - not the extension office.

There was a huge change in how our clubs could handle money this year but it was due to the tax code, and to protect clubs from any risk of money being mishandled. Same for Civil Air Patrol, our local squadron no longer does its own banking it all goes through our Wing Headquarters.





Who do you think develops the curriculum? Where do you think the printed materials come from? The trainings? The people that put on the programs for the youth? Who opens up the 4-H office for meetings, to get things ready for the county/state fairs?

Sure there are volunteers - lots of volunteers - but it takes lots of people who help train and coordinate those volunteers, make sure the programs curriculum is up-to-speed.

Amazing - if you think $20 is a part of a "gimme gimme" attitude - you are sorely mistaken.
FYI--was just at a meeting at the extension office with two supervisors. One from the extension office, one regional. Questions were asked, and not for the first time. No clear answers, the same run around and alot of "I don't knows". The regional says it is an issue of miscommunication. They told us our judges salaries come from the extension office, so no suprise. I am not "spouting off" because I am misinformed. Money does go into a slush fund to pay for numerous programs. 4-H money is not earmarked specifically for 4-H here. They admitted that. 4-H in our county brings alot of money into our extension office, especially the livestock division. We asked about specific donations that came from personal donators no one seemed to know what happened to the money. When we can not get something back to reward the children at awards night it is terrible. All these children work very hard at their projects and to receive an "IOU" award because they didn't happen to order it or spell the same girl's name different three times on three different awards or not even sign the award for the child, that is where it is sad. This is all from the county extension. We had a leader do a clinic (free on her own time) open to all our 4-H members in the county. She needed to get the word out to all the groups in our county to invite everyone. She contacted the county extension. They would not help her to contact anyone. They said they could not give out any info. about leaders. And would not help her in any way, shape or form. She could have very well emailed the invite to them and they could have passed it along to all leaders but wouldn't do that either. The list goes on and on with our extension office. This is why I am finding it difficult to pay $20 to them, for when we need them they are not there. And when we question what is happening, no answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Why should 4H get any money from the taxpayers wallet? In my opinion parents should have to pay 100% of the costs involved. It's not my responsibility to chip in so your kid can raise show animals and have fun activities.

Sweet sainted mother of Jennifer Love Hewitt! And we wonder why the nation is bankrupt and our taxes are stratospherically high.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top