GRIC 4-H Club Launches this Fall

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News


Beginning this fall, the Community will host a new 4-H Club, to be called GRIC 4-H. The nationally renowned 4-H youth program focuses on fostering life skills through hands-on projects and programming meant to develop youth leadership, new skills, health, educational opportunities, and more. The program will recruit GRIC youth between ages 8 and 18, as well as adult volunteers to support 4-H projects as mentors and project instructors.


“I hope to ignite new interests in the youth, not only for agriculture, but through different educational hands-on experiences,” said Bailey Bates, the GRIC 4-H Club Program Coordinator, who says she is to share her passion for agriculture, ranching, and horses with GRIC youth. “4-H is such a positive program. I hope it gives youth that gateway for continuing their education or considering it later on in life.”


In addition to guided projects, 4-H will also provide opportunities for summer camps, academic scholarships, interaction with youth from across the state, and potentially competing at the county level in various 4-H competitions.


While many 4-H learning projects are geared toward natural resource education and careers, the GRIC 4-H club will utilize the Community’s land base, help provide new learning focused on farming, gardening, ranching, and woodworking.


The GRIC 4-H Club initially started in May 2020, within the Gila River Indian Irrigation & Drainage District (GRIIDD), but COVID-19 put the club’s activities on hold. 


“Two years ago, the GRIIDD Board saw a need for a program like 4-H and to see (more) agricultural projects passed onto the youth within the Community,” said Jessica Romo, Assistant General Manager Mentee, GRIIDD. “So we would like to see more youth involved in those areas through GRIC 4-H Club,”


Romo shared that animal husbandry and ranching are also focus areas for the GRIC 4-H Club. Romo says she hopes 4-H inspires more GRIC youth to pursue agricultural science fields to benefit the Community’s farmlands.


The GRIC 4-H Club is currently recruiting this summer, with programming scheduled to begin in October. 

Bates encouraged all youth to consider joining. “If you are looking for something new to do, then come out to 4-H, and we can all learn together,” she said.


For more information on joining or volunteering with the GRIC 4-H Club, contact Bailey Bates by phone at 520-610-5554 or e-mail at You can also find GRIC 4-H Club on Facebook.