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Fall Paper Clover event supplies funding to local 4-H clubs

The 2014 Paper Clover is a nationwide fundraising event sponsored in part by the National 4-H Council, Tractor Supply Company and Del?s Farm and Feed Supply Store.

From October 8-19, TSC and Del?s offered customers the opportunity to donate one dollar or more to help improve quality youth development activities in the 4-H program.

All proceeds directly benefit 4-H, with 70 percent going back to the state and county levels, while 30 percent is donated to the National 4-H Council to be used for sponsorships and scholarships, among other things.

Last year Farmington alone raised $1,648.

?In New Mexico, I don?t keep any of it. The money comes here and goes out to the counties,? said Rick Richardson, interim department head for New Mexico State University?s Extension 4-H Youth Development. ?The National Council sends me a chart of each county and how much they raised and I send that amount back to the counties. The 30 percent National 4-H Council keeps is distributed in support of fundraising and donor sponsorships.?

New Mexico made $7,792 in total sales last year.

One of the 4-H club requirements is community service, the ?heart,? of the ?head, heart, hands and health? personal development areas symbolized by the four H?s on the 4-H clover.

?That?s one of the components of the H?s, giving back to the communities,? Richardson said. ?Highway cleanups, wounded warrior projects, cancer awareness, pet adoption, indigent care at hospitals, elderly care facilities, care packages for soldiers, fire prevention awareness, are all ways 4-H gives back to the community. All 33 counties have 4-H, with more than 6,000 kids enrolled in the program statewide.?

The Dona Ana County 4-H program uses its portion of funds for programming, according to Eva Madrid, 4-H agent with the Dona Ana County Cooperative Extension Service office.

?Our members enjoy selling clovers, helping customers take their purchases to their vehicles and having an opportunity to share with customers what 4-H is through activities, demonstrations and conversation,? Madrid said. ?The 4-H program greatly appreciates the support of the community and for their contributions to the Clover Drive.?

4-H is the nation?s largest youth development organization. Nationwide, about six million young people are involved in 4-H through 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension Service programs.

For more information go to http://www.4-h.org/paper-clover-toolkit/