The First Annual Coastal Bend Farm and Ranch Show is being held this week, Oct. 7-9 at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, located at 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd., just east of U.S. Highway 77 in Robstown.

Admission and parking is free, with show hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 8, and 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 9.

Between the farm and ranch equipment and services displays, there will be more than 30 educational sessions offering CEUs for pesticide applicators, certified crop advisors and BQAs.

Everyone is encouraged to come out and see the new farm technology that is being used here in the local community as well as participate in some of the many educational seminars, with topics ranging from crop production, beef cattle management, rainwater harvesting to whitetail deer management and feral hog control.

Bottom line, there is something for everyone.

Making a difference for life through 4-H

This week also happens to be National 4-H Week, which ends on Saturday.

For more than 103 years, the 4-H Program of Texas has been engaging youth in activities that help develop skills for a lifetime. These skills range from communication to community service and from goal setting to leadership.

Regardless of the skill learned, the benefits gathered from a young person participating in the 4-H Program is priceless.

The 4-H Program is nationwide youth development program that has more than 6.5 million youth involved in it annually. Administered in Texas by the AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M System, 4-H serves youth in all 254 counties in the state through a network of 250 County Extension Offices.

4-H is managed jointly by both a professional and volunteer staff. Texas 4-H, the largest 4-H program in the country, has more than 550,000 youth members and more than 35,000 volunteers working together to deliver the more than 95 projects, opportunities, and events offered annually through the program.

Here in Nueces County, we have 26 4-H Clubs with a current membership of more than 900 youth.

4-H is unique in that it offers experiences to the most urban young person and youth in rural areas by providing the opportunity to participate in community 4-H clubs, learning experiences in school classrooms, day and overnight camps, and other special interest opportunities.

Texas 4-H also serves the sons and daughters of our military personnel through the 4-H Military Program, which is located throughout the state, primarily on military bases.

Youth members can participate in a variety of projects in the areas of technology, human sciences, animals and household pets, science and engineering, natural resources, and wildlife. Beyond the excitement of learning something new through a project, youth have the opportunity to participate in leadership conferences, travel the world, become involved in their community through service, and meet new friends in a safe and comfortable setting.

A young person*s experiences in 4-H makes a difference for a lifetime by allowing them to grow and appreciate the importance of being a good citizen, a strong leader, and a person of character.

If you would like to learn more about 4-H, or have a family member join 4-H, contact your local County Extension Office or visit the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Web site at .

Jeffrey Stapper is the Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent for Nueces County. Readers may contact him at 767-5217.