Pa. 4-H leadership wins national award


4-H Educators win award

CLEARFIELD, Pa. — Three Pennsylvania 4-H educators have received national recognition from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) for the Level 2 4-H Horsemanship Skills video series they created to help educate 4-H members in safely handling their horses.

Local educator. Kirsten Dubbs, extension educator, Tioga County; Andrea Kocher, extension associate, equine science, University Park; and Donna Zang, extension educator, Butler County, worked for about 16 months to produce the video that features 4-H’ers demonstrating correct horsemanship.

This project is part of an ongoing effort to produce a series of Horsemanship Skills instructional videos for use by 4-H members, leaders and educators in Pennsylvania (with the possibility of sales to other states). There are four levels of Horsemanship skills, and the group plans to offer videos for each level.

The video project is part of the work being accomplished by the 4-H Youth Equine Team.

The award for an “educational piece” is given for a project whose purpose is to educate “through accurate, concise information on one subject.” Kocher said,

The project was initiated in response to requests for resources to help members better understand the correct execution of the riding and handling skills found in the PA 4-H Horsemanship Skills curriculum.

“Featuring current and former 4-H members demonstrating the skills makes it unique,” Kocher added. “We plan to distribute the video to 4-H volunteers for use in helping members master the skills with their own horses. In addition, we are looking into future sales of the videos as a revenue generation tool for our program team.”

Learning experience

She said the project proved to be a learning experience for the trio as they shot footage over many months and learned the skills to edit and finalize the video.

To make it both appealing and believable, they hand-picked youth who had progressed in the horsemanship skills program to demonstrate necessary skills. They also sought input and guidance from leaders, volunteers, educators and others who might use the video to be sure it reflected the necessary educational content.

The award will be given to the group at the (NAE4-HA) meeting in Orlando, Oct. 21-25.

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