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Kentucky 4-H workshop teaches business, entrepreneurship skills to youth

Kentucky 4-H workshop teaches business, entrepreneurship skills to youth

Kentucky 4-H workshop teaches business, entrepreneurship skills to youth

As the largest youth development organization in the United States and in Kentucky, 4- H is providing positive youth development experiences that last a lifetime.


Kentucky 4-H Youth Development, part of the Cooperative Extension Service at the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has inspired young Kentuckians to invest in their communities for decades. Now, they are teaching students to invest in themselves by offering a new path of leadership training. 

The Kentucky 4-H and UK Economic Development Collaborative (UK EDC) Entrepreneurship Workshop encourages youth to learn skills that align with running a business. At the most recent workshop, students presented their already-operating businesses and fielded questions from the audience, made up of their peers and leaders in the Lexington community.  

“One of the top economic development needs in Kentucky is an educated and trained workforce tied to the Commonwealth,” said Melody Flowers, UK assistant vice president for economic development and real estate and UK EDC co-chair. “Not only do youth entrepreneurship programs help build critical skills such as problem solving, financial management, communications, and teamwork, organizations like 4-H also instill and nurture deep-rooted connections to our communities. Whatever these students’ ultimate career paths end up being, these programs are helping develop our future community and business leaders.”  

Mike Meyer is a senior extension specialist at Martin-Gatton CAFE and has been involved in 4-H since he was a summer intern in 2007. His commitment to and passion for the organization are his driving factors for pushing this program forward. 

“The goal of our workshop was to introduce our partnership with the UK Economic Development Collaborative and commitment to creating a youth entrepreneurship progressive experience program for Kentucky 4-Her’s,” Meyer said. “Harrison, Lawrence, and Logan County 4-H Youth Development Agents, leaders, and youth participated in the workshop to ensure ground-up concepts and ideas are at the center of future 4-H Entrepreneurship program development.” 

Delaney Koch is a seventh grader at Harrison County Middle School with seven years of 4-H experience under her belt. This is her third year doing the entrepreneurship workshop, and she was in the very first class of participants. 

“Being in the first class was exciting because there were lots of new ideas being thrown around,” Koch said. “I learned things I never would have known about being an entrepreneur.” 

Koch and her business partner created Bead Masters, and have been running it together for a few years. It started out as beaded hair braiding, but their desire to take their business online inspired them to create a new product. Now they have added bracelets to their product-line.  

Following Koch’s presentation, all youth participants were able to share a wide variety of business ventures. Examples included candy making, raising livestock, pet management and vegetable farming. 

“What separates 4-H and extension from traditional education is the ability to watch kids spark an interest in something and allow it to flourish,” Meyer said. “We see kids from the age of six or seven all the way until they’re 19. The growth we see is incredible.” 

For more information on Kentucky 4-H, visit


The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. 

4 H Youth

Contact Information

Scovell Hall Lexington, KY 40546-0064