National 4-H Shooting Invitation Sets Record Attendance

The 2014 National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational June 23 – 29 in Grand Island Nebraska set a new record with 553 4-H youth participants representing 34 States. Total event attendance including participants, coaches, parents, family members and 4-H Faculty & Volunteers was estimated at 1600. State teams and individual 4-H youth competed throughout the week demonstrating their skills in Shotgun, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, Smallbore Pistol, Compound Archery, Recurve Archery, Muzzleloading Rifle and the Hunting Skills, Wildlife ID/Management & Decision Making. The 2014 National Invitational was hosted by the University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension.

The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program operates under the auspices of the National Institute of Food & Agriculture and Extension System in the United States Department of Agriculture. There are active 4-H shooting sports programs in 46 states with over 300,000 youth participating under the direction of several thousand trained volunteers. Like all 4-H programs, shooting sports is a partnership among the land-grant institutions, federal, state and local governments and business and industry. Funding for the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program is managed through National 4-H Council, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Industry & Association partners who help currently support the National 4-H Shooting Sports program including the Invitational include: NSSF-National Shooting Sports Foundation; Federal Premium Ammunition; CMP – Civilian Marksmanship Program; Daisy Outdoor Products, Hodgdon Powder Company, Whitetails Unlimited, NWTF – National Wild Turkey Federation; SCI- Safari Club International, Grand Island Visitors Bureau and the City of Grand Island.

The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms and archery, the principles and ethics of hunting, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics.

The Shooting Sports curriculum uses the resources of the land-grant university and the time, talent and dedication of Cooperative Extension Educators and certified 4-H volunteer leaders, instructors, and trainers who instruct 4-H members in firearms and archery safety and marksmanship. The shooting disciplines include: archery, muzzleloading, rifle, pistol, shotgun, and hunting. A National or State Certified Instructor teaches each discipline.
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