July 19, 2022
Arkansas 4-H State O-Rama returns to University of Arkansas campus
By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- 4-H State O-Rama is July 26-29
- More than 300 youth, county staff, volunteers will convene for state-level contests, workshops and more
- Winner of Governor’s Award, 4-H’s highest honor, will be announced
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — For Arkansas 4-Hers, all roads lead to State O-Rama. Hundreds of youth, county staff and volunteers will flood the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus from July 26-29 for the event, which features state-level competitions, workshops, tours and socials. This is the first in-person State O-Rama since 2019.
Priscella Thomas-Scott, extension 4-H events coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said 4-H staff, agents and club leaders are looking forward to the event’s return.
“We’re excited. You know you’re doing a good job when you have parents and kids that come up and say, ‘Hey, we’re looking forward to going back to State O-Rama,’” Thomas-Scott said. “This means a lot to the youth in our program.”
Thomas-Scott said more than 300 4-H members, county staff and volunteers from 51 of Arkansas’ 75 counties are registered for O-Rama. The event’s schedule is packed with socials, including a lip sync competition, a glow party, dances, and a “county night out.” This year’s keynote speaker is Laymon Hicks, a youth motivational speaker and author. Hicks will host a workshop titled “Be Your Own Star.”
4-H members can also attend a workshop about resolving food insecurity and participate in the 4-H Lego Challenge.
The election of the 4-H state officer team also takes place at State O-Rama. Thomas-Scott said this election is a “highlight of the event.”
“Our officer team members took the necessary steps of being involved with our program and putting in the hard work to get to this point,” Thomas-Scott said. “It’s definitely a rite of passage for them.”
Students who qualified at their district O-Rama competitions in June will compete in district qualifying contests in areas such as animal science, bait casting and sportfishing, wildlife, photograph, forestry, performing arts and more. 4-H youth also will compete in the program’s state-only contests, which include welding, archery, parliamentary procedure, impromptu public speaking, grassland plant identification, and Family and Consumer Sciences skill-a-thon.
Thomas-Scott said that in addition to the competitions, State O-Rama is an important opportunity for 4-H members to experience a college campus and learn about degree offerings.
“Every 4-Her might not go to college, but at State O-Rama, they’re exposed to a college experience, they’re exposed to learning about different degree paths that are available on campus,” Thomas-Scott said. “It’s not just about the competition, but about having new experiences and going outside of their comfort zone. That’s what I love about this event.”
4-H youth can learn about the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and other college degree offerings at the 4-H O-Rama College Fair and Bumpers College Picnic. Students can also head off campus to tour the Center for Arkansas Farms and Food, a program of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture. The program provides hands-on learning for farmers and food entrepreneurs, providing them with necessary skills and resources to develop sustainable businesses.
State O-Rama also includes a 4-H awards winner and donor dinner, as well as the 4-H Awards of Excellence ceremony, which recognizes the state scholarship winner, state record book winners, and the nominees for the Governor’s Award. As 4-H’s highest honor, the Governor’s Award is available only to former record book winners. Finalists go through an interview process and have lunch at the Governor’s Mansion with the governor and his wife, and the award is based on the student’s involvement with 4-H.
Thomas-Scott said the time and effort it takes to coordinate State O-Rama is more than worth it.
“It’s a lot of work, but it pays off when you see the kids enjoying themselves and learning new skills that they can take home with them,” she said. “Plus, they love to have a good time. It’s tiring for the adults, but it’s all about the kids.”
4-H is a youth development program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The program teaches participants life skills through the “learn by doing” model. Program participants gain knowledge through non-formal, science-based, experiential education activities.
For more information about 4-H, contact your local county extension agent or visit https://4h.uada.edu/.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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U of A System Division of Agriculture