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Fund-raising effort supports Island County’s new 4-H coordinator

Sara Bergquist was named coordinator for the county’s Four-H Clubs.  - Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times
Sara Bergquist was named coordinator for the county’s Four-H Clubs.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times

Thanks to the help of the students participating in Four-H throughout Island County, a coordinator has been hired to ensure the popular organization  continues.

Sara Bergquist was named coordinator for the county’s Four-H Clubs.

Bergquist, who was raised on South Whidbey and returned to the island last year after spending years as an educator in Alaska, started her position as Four-H coordinator last month.

“The beauty of Four-H is you take a project Four-H kids are passionate about and use it as a vehicle,” Bergquist said. There are around 30 clubs active in Island County.

Although many of the clubs have a focus on animals such as chickens and cattle, but she said there are attempts to expand into science and technology. Some roughly 30 clubs active on Whidbey Island include video production, environmental studies and computer science.

The Four-H programs also offered civic-minded programs in April to teach members about local government and how to get involved in the public process. She said members also visited Olympia to witness state government in action.

Bergquist said 4-H provides members with the skills to become leaders in the community. The club develops a sense that the government is theirs and they can actively participate.

Even though she has spent considerable time in Alaska, she is a Whidbey Island native. She grew up on South Whidbey and she graduated from South Whidbey High School in 1987. She recently moved back to the area with her husband and her dog.

Bergquist is a part-time employee for WSU Extension. The county coordinator position was at risk of being eliminated several years ago as the result of funding losses. However, Island County chapters pitched in to help.

Her position is paid through the fund-raising efforts of the Four-H members in Island County. She points out they were able to raise enough money for her position while raising money for their own projects.

And the Four-H Club members are busy. Recently members of the Rock’n Doodle Four-H Club recently organized a chicken coop tour so residents can see the creative ways members are housing their chickens.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Bergquist said.

For more information about the Island County Four-H, contact Bergquist at 360-679-7328 or sarah.bergquist@wsu.edu

 

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