An educational program that once called the city of Bullard home is attempting to make a comeback, as the newly restructured Bullard 4-H Club is currently seeking new members.
“We’re really excited we had the opportunity to come back in and restart the Bullard 4-H Club, said James Holloway, Bullard 4-H Club advisor. “I believe that through 4-H, students are able to learn and participate in a number of activities focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The club allows more depth in the Bullard community by interacting in certain activities they may be interested in.”
Holloway, a 1996 graduate of Bullard High School, was a founding member of the Bullard 4-H program when it was introduced in the 1994-1995 school year, along with fellow classmates Hal Conover and Wes Stripling.
“When we started 4-H, it was simply a secondary outlet to where we could show our livestock and have more depth,” said Holloway. “It was neat when we started the club because we were the older ones in the group, and he had a number of young members following us. It was a great way to have the interest of younger members in the field of agriculture.”
Despite their best intentions in starting the organization, interest in the Bullard 4-H program slacked off around the 1997-1998 school year, a decline Holloway said was caused by the direction of the program.
“The advisory direction of the program was redirected to other means and not focused on 4-H,” said Holloway. “I was not very happy about it because it was something I helped create and saw the opportunity for younger students to be involved. But at that point, I was already in college, so there wasn’t much that I could do about it.”
Now, Holloway and several of his supporters are back at it 20 years later, attempting to resurrect the Bullard 4-H Club and make it a successful organization once again.
“Our goal in restarting the Bullard 4-H Club is to get kids involved and educated in any area of STEM that interests within the bounds of 4-H,” said Holloway. “We also want to help them learn more about their interests because 4-H offers a number of different program, including agriculture, shooting, robotics, and even computer programming and rocketry and aerospace. There’s an interest for everyone in the Bullard 4-H Club.”
Holloway compared and contrasted the differences in the Texas 4-H program now compared to when he was in high school two decades ago, citing the plethora of program students can now participate in, not just limited to agriculture.
“4-H is radically different today than when I was in high school,” said Holloway. “Twenty years ago, it was about showing animals, parliamentary procedure, animal judging, sewing blankets and clothes, baking, and canning vegetable. Now, we have kids who are still interested in showing animals, but there are so many more opportunities to participate in.
According to Holloway, students participating in the Bullard 4-H Club are able to show their animals and compete in contest at the Smith County and Cherokee County Livestock Shows.
With the revamping of the Bullard 4-H Club, Holloway said he hopes to recreate a program that will be strong and will remain a facet of the community.
“I want to be a good, strong, solid chapter where anyone can participate and the parents can be just as involved as their children,” said Holloway. “The growth of the program isn’t as important to me as the depth; it’s basically quality over quantity. Like the 4-H motto, I want our members to understand it’s up to them to use their heads, hearts, and hands to make a difference in their community. By getting that across, I hope the new Bullard 4-H Club will be a longstanding organization within the community.”
The Bullard 4-H Club will host its monthly meetings on the first Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., inside the Founder’s Lecture Hall on the campus of the Brook Hill Upper School.
For more information about the Bullard 4-H Club, email 4HbullardBH@gmail.com, call Holloway at (903) 504-8839, or visit the Texas 4-H website, www. texas4-h.tamu.edu.