The West Virginia University Collegiate 4-H Club was named national club of the year on Saturday, March 16, at the 2013 National Collegiate 4-H Conference in Columbia, Mo.

The Club’s service projects helped reach nearly 57,000 people through educational, youth-development and heritage-based events.

Club President Alec James, a junior exercise physiology major from New Manchester, W.Va., says that part of what helps set WVU’s Club apart is its commitment to keeping 4-H’s heritage alive in the state.

The Club is an active participant in WVU’s Mountaineer Week, helping celebrate with everything from teaching traditional folk dances at WVUp All night, to roasting corn on the Mountainlair lawn.

Mountaineer Week Advisor Sonja Wilson said the, “loyalty, service and life lessons of the WVU Collegiate 4-H Club have helped to make Mountaineer Week a success.” Wilson said club members take their commitment to the event above and beyond what’s expected, even volunteering as overnight security for the crafts exhibited during the fair.

“What I like about 4-H is that I am able to contribute to my community and learn and develop myself,” James said. “And now, through Collegiate 4-H, I’m helping others develop in their lives, too.”

Members of the Club participate in events that help provide opportunities for the next generation of 4-H’ers. For instance, some participate in the Outspoken for 4-H bike ride, where riders cycle 250 miles throughout the state to help raise money for camp scholarships.

The Club has a long history of garnering the national award; it received the same honor in 2002, 2006 and 2011.

WVU Extension Service Interim Director Steve Bonanno congratulated the group. He said the award recognizes the club for its outstanding community service and continued involvement in leadership and character development.

“Our Collegiate 4-H’ers are more than just mentors to our nearly 20,000 4-H’ers across the state,” Bonanno said. “They’re setting the standard for young leaders at the national level, too.”

There are 60 members in the collegiate organization, and membership is open to all college students regardless of previous 4-H experience.

For more information on the WVU Collegiate 4-H Club, contact Becca Fint-Clark at, or 304.291.7201.

To join or volunteer with a 4-H Club in your community, contact your local county office of the WVU Extension Service.


cw 3/20/13

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CONTACT: Cassie Waugh; Office: 304.293.8735, cell: 304.376.1829