In honor of National 4-H Week, Oct. 1-7, we asked Farm and Dairy readers to finish the sentence “Thank you 4-H …”
From public speaking to fighting for equality in the 1950s, we received responses from young and old — all with incredible experiences of what 4‑H offered and continues to offer.
Thank you, 4-H for helping me build needed life skills and helping me with my confidence.
— Gyllien Anderson
Portage County, Ohio
Thank you, 4-H for all the new experiences you gave me.
— Alexis Basinger
Thank you, 4-H for helping me with public speaking. I’m stuttering and rambling much less than I was before.
— Clara Butcher
Thank you, 4-H for the accomplishments I made and the traveling I got to experience! Loved it!
Thank you, 4-H for teaching me how to sew.
— Jillian Denning
Thank you, 4-H for teaching me to talk in front of people.
— Valeri Derteen
Thank you, 4-H for the courage to struggle for the equality of all boys and girls to participate in any 4-H projects during the 1950s. I watched my father show dairy cattle in local sales and decided when I joined 4-H I wanted to raise and show dairy projects at the local county fair. However, the county agent was informed by Columbus that girls were not permitted to join “boys” 4-H projects. Mrs. Bertha Phillips, the county agent; Mr. Kenny Renner, 4-H leader; and my parents all petitioned Columbus to change the rules so all members could choose any 4-H projects. Phillips reported 10 years later that I had not been awarded first or outstanding dairy 4-H member in Ohio because it was given to a boy less qualified as I was a girl and a girl had never qualified before. I became a science teacher and the lessons of equalities learned in 4-H were foremost in my career to treat all students equally in their dreams of life choices.
— Carol Eyster
Thank you, 4-H for giving me so many opportunities. You gave me the opportunity to learn by doing so in a supportive environment; gave me a wonderful platform for trying new things; for all the leadership opportunities; for the trips, camps, workshops, conventions and conferences; for all the friends I’ve made through 4-H; for increasing my public speaking skills; for helping me learn planning, organizing, and goal setting skills; and for teaching me how to accept disappointments along with the victories. 4-H, you’ve opened up a life-long world of opportunities!
While I was a 4-H member, I was excited for all the things I could get out of 4-H. Now, as an adviser for 36 years, I’m excited for what I can help others get out of 4-H. Thank you 4-H for always encouraging me to make my best better!
Other than my own personal family, 4-H has had the biggest, most lasting impact on my life.
4-H for life!
— Roberta Rohal Gallagher
Thank you, 4-H for helping me always make my best better!
I have truly learned by doing.
— Shannon Gallagher Wingert, National Mrs. United States Agriculture
Thank you, 4-H for all the friends I have made throughout the years.
— Spencer Gordon
Thank you, 4-H for giving me the opportunity to expand my own personal knowledge, and pass it on to the new 4-H youth.
— Tanner Gordon
Thank you, 4-H for taking a shy fourth-grader and turning her into a woman who can conquer any task. Without 4-H, I wouldn’t have learned the communication, leadership and citizenship skills that helped me through high school and college and into the working world. 4-H for me was filled with hundreds of memorable occasions and created lifelong friendships. I am now a 4-H volunteer and love giving back to the organization that made me who I am today.
— Rebecca Haugland
Ames, Iowa (was involved in 4-H while living in Solon, Iowa)
Thank you, 4-H for teaching me that life isn’t handed to you. If you want something, you have to work for it. It has also taught me leadership and responsibility, waking up every morning to go feed and take care of all your animals before school, telling your friends you can’t hang out because you have animals to train, etc. 4-H greatly impacts my life every day, and I’m so grateful for such an amazing opportunity.
— Gracie Kelley
As 4-H parents, we would like to say thank you 4-H for giving our girls opportunities to explore, learn and grow through projects, camp and leadership. 4-H helped teach our girls hard work, responsibility, initiative, working with others and so much more. We will forever be indebted to the Carroll County, Ohio 4-H program for its part in our girls lives. 4-H also led them to their careers — one is a 4-H educator in Nebraska and one is a high school counselor in Ohio. 4-H is the best experience they had in their youth. Thank you 4-H!
— Becky and John Larson
Thank you, 4-H for giving my daughter the support and confidence to make her best better.
— Cathy Maltonic
I have been a 4-H adviser for 48 years and a 4-H master clothing educator for 20 years, and I am thankful for all the young people who have enriched my life. How I enjoy watching them grow and mature and then follow their lives once they graduate to 4-H alumni status. Thanks to every one of you for bringing so much pleasure and enjoyment into my life.
— Kathleen Moser
Berlin Center, Ohio
Thank you, 4-H for the life-long friends I have made through club activities and junior leaders.
— Marty Kurtz-Orf
Thank you, 4-H for the endless learning experiences, tons of friends, late night talks, bonding times. Thank you for the advisers who always push me to be my best every single day. Thank you for making me who I am. I am 4-H grown.
— Olivia Orf
Portage County, Ohio
Thank you, 4-H. It helps me in public speaking and skills I can use in real life.
— Curtis Rohal
Thank you, 4-H for the opportunity as an adviser, to hand down the skills that I learned from my mother/adviser to the youth of today, and to see them grow into wonderful, caring adults!
— Charlene Rohal
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