Link to printable page
Jackson County Demonstration Site
Staff Contact: Anne Manlove
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
Updated March 2006
For more program details, see Key