Oregon Outreach: Increasing the participation of Latino(a)  youth and families in the Oregon 4-H program.

Benton County
Clackamas County
Hood River (1)County
Hood River (2) County
Jackson County
Marion County
Morrow County
Polk County
Umatilla County
Wasco County
Washington County
Yamhill County

Link to printable page

Jackson County Demonstration Site

Program Description

Staff Contact: Anne Manlove

Vision/ Mission
Key Outcomes

Jackson County is located in the southwestern part of the state and along the northern border of California. The area is primarily known for its agricultural, manufacturing, and lumber producing communities. Fruit growing is a major industry and Medford, the largest city, is known nationwide for its pears. The county annually draws thousands of tourists from nearly every state and many countries to experience outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, and rafting) or attend the annual Shakespearean Festival in Ashland.

Similar to the other demonstration sites, Jackson County is experiencing a major increase in the number of Latino residents. Latinos currently comprise 15% of the population and, in one recent 4-year period, the number of Latinos increased 26%.

4-H outreach efforts in Jackson County are accomplished through 4-H clubs as well as special events and activities. In the 2004-2005 program year, two after school programs were started in HUD farm worker housing units. About 25 Latino youth participated on a regular basis and several adult family members assisted with the program. Community partners were recruited to provide educational activities; photography and creative arts were especially popular. County Extension staff in nutrition and natural sciences education also provided classes. Additionally, 4-H Club Med provided high school age Latinas with career exploration experiences related to the health field. They toured health clinics, met health professionals, and visited a nursing program at a local university. The girls also took a First Aid and CPR course and learned how to apply for a job.

Deliberate efforts were made to recruit Latino youth as participants in 4-H activities that largely attract traditional 4-H members. As a result, 21 Latino youth participated in 4-H summer camp, a 4-H natural science camp, and the county fair. Several youth also attended the state 4-H summer conference held on the campus of Oregon State University.

Two community-wide celebrations were sponsored by Latino 4-H families to teach about the history and traditions of cultural holidays. Both the Dia de los Muertos event in October and the Posada observance in December involved over 100 children and adults, both Latino and non-Latino. In another activity, Oregon State University Extension, the Bear Creek Watershed, and Migrant Education collaborated to offer "Latino Kids and Bugs". The goal was to bring new residents of Jackson County closer to the ecology of the Rogue Valley by teaching children about the local watershed, fish, ecology, and recreational activities. Forty community volunteers helped with the program and 105 children participated.

Updated March 2006

For more program details, see Key Outcomes.