4-H Youth News

Rockingham County 4-H Youth Grow Corn - 11-01-14

BRENTWOOD - In honor of Cooperative Extension's Centennial celebration this year, 4-H members in Rockingham County went back in time to one of 4-H's earliest agricultural projects and took on the "Kids Can Grow" Popcorn Challenge. The project challenged youth to plant corn in June, follow growing instructions through the summer, and harvest their crop in September. The corn was then judged and showcased at the Deerfield Fair.

The Popcorn Challenge was funded by a grant from the NH Master Gardener Association and led by Ron Christie, Agriculture Program Coordinator and Joe Drake, 4-H Program Coordinator at UNH Cooperative Extension in Brentwood. "We're proud of all our participants and are already thinking about next year's Kids Can Grow project," said Christie. "We would like to expand the program so that more kids are involved and different kinds of vegetables are grown."

4-H members Jillian and Maxwell are ready for the Kids Can Grow Challenge and pick up their corn growing supplies.


The project began in June when youth picked up planting buckets, potting soil, and High Mowing Organic Seeds' Tom Thumb Popcorn. Participants learned techniques for container gardening, recorded their gardening successes and setbacks, and in September brought their harvested corn to the Deerfield Fair. The corn was judged on size, quality, and yield.

Top gardeners in the Popcorn Challenge were Anna and Peter Haber of Raymond with First Place, Jayden Porter of Nottingham in Second Place, and Patrick Marcoux of Brentwood in Third Place. Prizes awarded for the challenge were supported in part by Tractor Supply Co.'s 4-H Paper Clover Campaign. The Tom Thumb Popcorn was donated by High Mowing Organic Seeds.


Jillian and Maxwell, the gardeners, display their successful September harvest.


4-H, the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident youth who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country.

For more information about 4-H or the Master Gardener program in Rockingham County, contact UNH Cooperative Extension at (603) 679-5616.