The impact 4-H has had on my life

Farm Forum

Watching my big sister in 4-H only made me want to grow up that much quicker. As I started with 4-H at the age of eight, there were lots of things I wanted to do just like my sister, but was I was not big enough. I wanted to do everything just like my sister. Something I realized very quickly was that I was not my sister. I discovered during my time in 4-H that I could become my own person and do the projects that interested me. I started by doing Special Foods, Public Presentations, and static exhibits. I know that if it were not for Special Foods I would not have learned about the food pyramid and the different food groups that are needed to make a balanced diet. I was also able to start making my own food such as smoothies. Having a very outspoken older sister, I never said much and was pretty quiet and reserved. Public presentations allowed me to find my own voice. I have been doing these at the county and state level since I started 4-H. I know that the skills I am gaining from public presentations will be something I will continue to use for the rest of my life no matter what I am doing. Being the chapter FFA president, I need to be able to speak in front of the chapter as well as run the meeting. This is something that has become very easy because of all the talks I have given in 4-H.

I also discovered a new love for archery, something none of my family had any experience with. I started and have become addicted to not only archery in 4-H but also the love of the outdoors and hunting. This is something I can enjoy for the rest of my life, and I would not have discovered it if it were not for 4-H and shooting sports in my county.

As the years have gone on, I have started to show dairy goats and sheep. Raising and showing livestock is something that has great and also sad days. Even when you have a bad day, just going out to be with my animals can turn my day around. These two projects have shown me the circle of life, something that not every young person gets to experience unless growing up on the farm. I have seen the fruits of my labor in the show ring from showmanship to grand and reserve champion animals. I know that not every year you are going to win everything, but you still work your hardest to show your animal to the best of your ability. I plan to go into something livestock related, which I know wouldn’t have been found if not for my 4-H projects.

I know that these skills I have gained through 4-H may not make a huge difference to everyone, but I do know they have made a huge different to me and my life. I want to encourage everyone to join a 4-H club and get involved. You do not need to live on farm to get involved. National 4-H Week is October 5-11, 2014. Please get involved with your county to either join or volunteer. #iam4H