My personal 4-H story began before I was born. It began generations ago and continued with my grandparents, uncles, and mother. It now continues with my cousins, brothers, and I. 4-H has been a part of my family for so long that for me it has become a way of life. This part of my life has had a tremendous influence on the person I am today, the skills and relationships I have developed, and my plans for the future.
I first attended the Clark County Fair when I was a little over four months old and I have returned every year since. My family has had cattle tied in the same spot in cattle barn two for as long as anyone can remember. The Clark County Fair and the preparation leading up to it has always been a family event. We were taught to work together and help out anyone we could. I helped my cousins at the fair every year and could hardly wait until I was old enough to have my own 4-H project. Being involved in 4-H helped build my love and appreciation for animals. This is something I will always have no matter where life takes me. I learned skills early on that included responsibility. My animals were depending on me no matter what the weather was or what else I had going on that day. The Clark County Fair will always be one of my best 4-H memories and one that I hope to continue for many years to come.
My 4-H story has also allowed me to grow socially. The friends that I have met through 4-H will be lifetime friends because we will always share 4-H as a connection. For most of them 4-H is a way of life, as it is for me. I have networked with many new adults through 4-H and have learned from their experiences and mentoring. I look forward to always networking with my 4-H family.
One of the best things about 4-H is that it offers something for everyone. For me it has been working with animals, but for others it is something different such as sewing, woodworking, or being a camp counselor. You can pick the things that interest you the most and challenge yourself by choosing something new. As I have grown up in 4-H my favorite activity has become working with the younger 4-H members. My mom’s 4-H club has grown to over 50 members, most of them with a non-farm background. There are many younger members that take goats and dairy feeders. They need help learning about their projects. I really enjoy showing them how to lead their animals, how to groom their animals, and answering questions about proper nutrition. I remember looking up to the older members when I first became involved in 4-H. The younger members like attention from the older members. It is very rewarding to see them show well in the show ring and come up and thank you for helping them get started.
My 4-H story began as a family affair and will always be a family affair. As my story has grown it has included learning lifelong skills such as responsibility, patience, work ethic, time management, money management, and sportsmanship. It has made me a stronger communicator. It has blessed me with many lifelong friendships and an appreciation for animals. Hopefully my 4-H story will continue for generations to come.