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UK Cooperative Extension Service


Extension notes


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01/17/2007 - by Stephanie Johnson

Lawrence County 4-H Youth Development Agent

Shooting Sports Camp set for April

Kentucky 4-H Youth Development members will learn about safety during the 16th annual Shooting Sports Camp April 4 through April 7 at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp Center. Approximately 120 junior 4-H members will have the opportunity to participate, along with more than 80 adult and teenage instructors and adult volunteers.

Safety is stressed in all shooting sports training, activities and competitive events. These experiences teach 4-H members how to be safe in their individual actions. Equally important, they learn how to recognize safety concerns in other people's actions. Youth are empowered to set an example of proper shooting techniques and safety throughout their lives.

Campers take part in the five disciplines of the 4-H shooting sports program. These are shotgun, pistol, 22 rifle, black powder and archery. Each camper can participate in a hands-on, hunter education session called Hunter Challenge to demonstrate their knowledge about shooting sports ethical and responsible actions. Following the initial safety discussions and demonstrations, campers have ample time to practice and develop their shooting sports skills through range work.

Youth also can complete requirements for the state mandated hunter education course and receive their "Orange Card" while at the camp.

In addition to the shooting safety expertise learned at the camp, youth gain social skills by interacting with other people with common interests from throughout Kentucky. Through the real-life examples in the Hunter Challenge, youth also have opportunities to develop and improve critical thinking and other life skills.

All instructors have attended state training sessions on how to interact and train youth about shooting sports safety. This training enables instructors to help boost campers' self-esteem because they become successful in shooting sports activities.

Campers also can take part in many fun, educational activities like caving, nature hikes, stream observations, crafts and animal programs. County, state and regional shooting sports competitions will begin this spring and continue throughout the summer. Some of these events are restricted to certain counties; while others are open to anyone interested. The Kentucky 4-H Shooting Sports Contest will take place this September. This event has experienced record growth over the past years, and recently expanded to a two-day format.

The cost of the camp is $85. Applications can be picked up at your County Cooperative Extension Office. The state deadline is March 1. To find out more about shooting sports and other 4-H Youth Development programs, contact your County 4-H Youth Development Agent at the Cooperative Extension Office.

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by Pam Hay

Lawrence County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development

Survey circulated to aid in counting horses

While the often-raised question, "How many horses are there in Kentucky?" is a simple one, the answer isn't as straightforward. The answer depends on who you ask and how the count is done. What is known is that many horses never get counted by the Census of Agriculture because they are not on property classified as a "farm."

Figuring out how many horses live in Kentucky isn't just an exercise in counting. It's important. If we don't know how many horses are in Kentucky and where they live and what activities people use them for, we can't do a lot of things. For example, we can't estimate the economic importance of horses. We also can't argue for the need for riding trails or performance arenas if we can't say how many horses are involved in these activities. That means that determining just how many horses are in Kentucky is important to every horse owner.

In Kentucky, Horses Count is a collaborative effort of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) and the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) as well as many horse associations throughout Kentucky.

These groups are working together to try and contact every person who has a horse in Kentucky so they can answer the short survey. For this to be successful, everyone needs to help. If you have neighbors who have horses, ask them if they have completed the survey, and maybe even help them fill it out.

"This is one of the most important undertakings for the entire horse industry that our organizations can do," said Gene Clabes, KEEP's Interim Executive Director. "It is so important to Kentucky's horse industry and to Kentucky for a number of reasons."

"First, getting an accurate count helps Kentucky maintain its status as the Horse Capital of the World." Equally important, knowing how many horses there are in Kentucky helps us convince policy makers, businesses and non-horse residents in this state just how important horses are for Kentucky's economy," he said.

You can get a copy of the In Kentucky, Horses Count! survey in several ways. Surveys are available online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/equine; http://www.horseswork.com; or, you can stop by your local county extension office to pick up a copy or turn in a completed survey. If you belong to a Kentucky horse association, you can also get a copy from that association. Finally, you can contact Dr. Lori Garkovich, survey coordinator and professor at the University of Kentucky and get a copy from her. She can be reached at: Lori Garkovich, 500 Garrigus Bldg., University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40546-0215, 859-257-7581; or e-mail lgarkov@uky.edu.

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