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• October 12, 2017 • Oceana’s Herald-Journal

Area youth celebrate National 4-H Week

Head, Heart, Hands and Health

Last week (Oct. 1-7), millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country joined together for the 75th consecutive National 4-H Week celebration. The annual event showcases the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people and highlights the remarkable 4-H youth in the country who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them. A program of Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, 4-H involves more than 200,000 young people aged 5 to 19 who participate each year across the Great Lakes

What 4-H Means to Me By: Hannah Woller

I have been in 4-H for 4 years and I have learned a lot. Each of those years I have done a pig project with the Green Community Proud Porkers Club and I really enjoyed it. 4-H has taught me a lot about responsibility. When I signed up for each project it wasn’t my parents’ animal, but mine. I was the one who had to wake up on time every morning, feed my pig, walk my pig and spend time with my pig. Of course, my parents gave guidance, teaching and advice throughout my 4-H project experiences to make me more knowledgeable, informed and intelligent. I feel 4-H has started to prepare me for life. Being disciplined was very important because I have to train to stay committed to the project. I have to put my best effort into it and make the best of all the different situations. I had to set goals, work towards them and stick with it to accomplish. My leader and parents have made a great impact on my life in 4-H. My aunt Kim Mischler is our club leader. She has taught me a lot about the pigs, shared many experiences and stories she had during her time in 4-H many years ago. Aunt Kim has also been a big encouragement to our club to take special classes, learn more about our animals and agriculture. At many of our meetings she hands out fliers to inform us about illnesses or diseases in swine, and any new important information about pigs. I am very thankful to have 4-H in my life. I would not have learned how to be well disciplined and responsible without it. My parents and my club leader have given great advice and guidance. These character traits and the people involved have help mold me into who I am today. This is why I enjoy 4-H and encourage others to join.

State. Through fun, hands-on, educational opportunities, youth explore what interests and excites them through program areas that range from science and technology to clothing and textiles, and so much more. “Our programs have a profound impact on the youth we serve,” said Julie Chapin, director of MSU Extension Michigan 4-H programs. “Whether that’s helping them develop basic life skills like responsibility and teamwork, or helping them find their future careers – 4-H truly makes a lasting impression on the

lives of young people.” In fact, research has shown that young people in 4-H are almost four times as likely to contribute to their communities and are twice as likely to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in their free time. Oceana County has over 30 active 4-H clubs. Oceana’s 4-H programs offer clubs for youth interested in horse, swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, lambs, goats, poultry, rabbits, crafts and more. All clubs meet at least six times a year and work on a variety of projects to be displayed at the Oceana County Fair each August. There is a $20 fee per child or

$60 for a family with three or more children. The 4-H year runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 in Oceana County. The Oceana County 4-H Program Coordinator is Samantha Brodley

and she is assisted by office manager Kathy Walicki and 4-H secretary Toni VanBergen and many club leaders and volunteers. They can be contacted at 231-873-2129. In addition to national and statewide events, local county 4-H programs marked the National 4-H Week celebration with their own unique events and engagement opportunities. Below are a number of essays written by Oceana County 4-H youth highlighting their experiences with the local program and clubs. To learn more about Michigan 4-H at the local level, visit 4h.msue. msu.edu.

What 4-H Means to Me

By: Alexis Settler Because of 4-H, I can do so many things, that if I wasn’t in 4-H I ple and speaking, but now it gets easier and easier. At my group’s don’t think I could do; some of them very easily like I can do now. In meetings, I have the responsibility of reporting what we discussed at 4-H I have learned so much about horses, how to speak better in the last meeting to know where we left off, and to do that I have to public, and how to help people when needed. speak to everyone. I have seen many members in 4-H that start to First of all, because of 4-H, I have learned about health, care and feel eager to talk, when they use to not like it. riding of my horse which has helped me so much, to become the Lastly, because of 4-H, I can help people when they need it. For better rider I am now. If I wasn’t in 4-H I wouldn’t have the urge to example, in my club there are a lot of younger kids so I can help them look up more and more information to improve my riding and different when they need it. It makes me feel happy and good because I’m techniques. I am also able to make a lot of new friends in 4-H and be helping them with something, then they can pass their knowledge able to share the same love for horses. onto someone else. I’ve had to help a girl who didn’t know how to Next, because of 4-H, I am able to speak better in public. If I wasn’t show her horse in showmanship and I felt so happy to help her. in 4-H I wouldn’t even be able to think about standing in front of peo-

What 4-H Means to Me

By: Kaleb Witteveen My name is Kaleb Witteveen. I am 6 years old this year. I am in 4-H and part of The Herd. My mom is the leader, she’s the boss. I finally got to take my calf Oreo to the fair this year because they said I was too young before. I always had to help clean up the barn with my sister at the fair. She lets me help her with her steers but this year I had Oreo to take care of. I have been in 4-H forever but mom said it’s my first year this year. I learned a lot and she made us practice a lot, even when we didn’t want to practice. I got to put Oreo pictures at the fair. One time when it was before the snow we (the Herd) helped my dad’s football players clean up someone’s yard and it was fun. They had lots of leaves and hot chocolate. I like 4-H cause it’s fun!

What 4-H Means to Me By: Morgan Herremans

My name is Morgan Herremans. I have been participating in 4-H for 9 years. I did two years in the little buddy program with a pig, three years with a small market feeder calf, and just finished my fourth year in large market with a steer. I have learned how much time, how much work and how expensive raising a steer can be. I have met many new people since I’ve joined 4-H. Just this year, two new 4-H’ers have joined our beef club and now we have become friends. 4-H Exploration Days gave me the opportunity to take a three-day trip to Michigan State University and take fun classes on campus. Without 4-H, I would not have been able to learn what the college life is like. One lesson I think is very important that I have learned is how to handle my money. I have learned how to save my money for the next year’s project and for the future (college). I have also learned how to market my animal. I learned that the more you market, the better you might do at the sale because more people know about you and your animal. These lessons will help me in the future, even after I graduate. Another thing I love about 4-H is all the opportunities the program offers. It gives you the chance to go see what college is like, volunteer for different community service events, save money for college or any savings, show your animal around the state, and meet new people that all have the same hobby as you. 4-H is a wonderful opportunity. My mom and dad were in it when they were kids and I hope to be able to share it with my kids one day.

What 4-H Means to Me By: George Alvesteffer

Last year, I helped my cousin, Alex, with his calf at the fair. I joined 4-H this year to see if I’d like it. Neal Holladay gave me a calf to use as my project. I named him Tackle because I love fishing and I had to tackle him when I tried to catch him to put on his halter. I didn’t get him when he was a baby because I didn’t want to show and the Holladays didn’t have enough calves. They let me have Tackle when another kid didn’t take care of him. He was afraid and didn’t walk with me. My dad showed me how to walk him in circles so he had to move instead of locking his front legs. After that, I kept going to visit him each day and soon he started to trust me and walk without any problems. Now we explore the farm and take really long walks. We have a fruit and vegetable farm so learning about the Holladay’s farm and taking care of cattle is different for me. I really liked learning all the chores. Me and my dad would do chores for the Holladays when they went on vacation. I have learned a lot of new things by being part of the 4 Star 4-H Club. Aunt Michelle Holladay has meetings at her house for our club. I don’t like the writing and paperwork part of meetings. I would rather do the fun stuff like unscrewing signs, painting gates, or playing games. I really like playing Cow Parts flashcards because I can beat my sister. We also learned by working with my mom and sisters in the 4-H book, going to the library and going on field trips. My first year in 4-H and doing a dairy project was fun and I learned that it is not all about getting ribbons and showing at the fair. For me, the important part is the time I got to spent with Tackle, learning new stuff and spending time with my family and friends doing chores and working with our calves. I don’t know if I will be brave enough to go into the show ring. I do know that I will take Tackle to the fair and be proud to show him to everyone and say, “This is Tackle. He is my friend and I learned all about him by being part of 4-H.”

What 4-H Means to Me By: Nora McTiernan

4-H has impacted my life by teaching me how to work with others, learn new things and really bonding with my horse and the other members of Dusty Chaps. For example, for fun, me Kyra, Hyatt and Vantuyl would practice our pattern or trot freely around the ring. I work with others a lot in Dusty Chaps, as well. I have received help with showmanship and halter from Lexi Settler. When I won my very first first-place ribbon I have been paying much more attention to my horse Custer, and I have been practicing and riding in my free time. I feel I am getting better at most things that were once difficult for me. Riding has become very enjoyable for me. I really enjoy being a part of Dusty Chaps 4-H club, and I hope to do it for plenty more years.


Oceana’s Herald-Journal • October 12, 2017 • 5b

What 4-H Means to Me By: Mikaylyn Kenney

Hi my name is Mikaylyn Kenney I am 13 years old. I live in Pentwater and participate in 4-H through Oceana County 4-H. I’m in the 8th grade and I attend Pentwater Public School. I have been involved with 4-H for six years. Showing rabbits (6 years), Steer calves (4 years), pigs (3 years) and chickens and ducks (1 year). Because of 4-H I can be more confident in myself. I know what I can do and what I can achieve. I started 4-H when I was 7 years old showing rabbits and I have really excelled since then. Even though I am a young kid I can share my experiences, in what I have learned and assist with teaching in our rabbit club. I have had so many experiences showing

animals and participation in fun events. Seems like every year I try something new. I started with rabbits then added beef, chickens, ducks, market rabbits, swine, crafts, writing, educational displays, vegetables, photos and art work. Because of 4-H I can set goals for myself. This year I was able to attend 4-H Exploration Days. If I would not have been in 4-H I would not have been able to get this chance to learn the valuable life skills of being on Michigan State campus and taking care of myself almost like I was on my own. When I went to 4-H Exploration Days I had to know where all the classes were and how to get there, what time certain events were, what time to wake up and how

to get around on campus. I know I can successfully achieve them with practice, patience and hard work. I truly believe in the 4-H motto “To make the best better,” because you can always better yourself with hard work, determination and perseverance. Because of 4-H I can meet a lot of new people and created new friendships. I have encouraged friends to come with me to meetings and encourage others to join 4-H. I truly believe I have taken my experiences in 4-H and applied them to my everyday life. As I sit here and write this short essay on “Because of 4-H I can.” I feel much more confident in myself and my abilities. I look forward to many more years in 4-H program.

What 4-H Means to Me By: Grace Alvesteffer My name is Grace and my involvement in 4-H began as part of the 4 Star 4-H Beef and Dairy Club when Michelle Holladay asked my family to join over 6 years ago. I completed my dairy project including participating in showmanship at the fair for two years. Scheduling conflicts and a family health crisis concluded our participation in animal projects; however, I found others ways to remain involved in Oceana County 4-H. I have volunteered in the county fair’s Youth Exhibit Building where I became a judge’s clerk and helped with Ag Olympics. I helped form the Fun Finders 4-H SPIN Club which specializes in community service and educational projects and offers an alternative to typical 4-H clubs. I participated in the Teen Leadership Spectacular Planning Committee and assisted Lori Cargill in teaching a session at the conference. I continue to work at recruiting others to join in the benefits of 4-H experiences and to promote the values and ideals of the 4-H Motto of “Making the Best Better” by being a positive role model within the community and am excited about servicing as this year’s ambassador. The experience gained from being involved in 4-H has been a major factor in the development of my communication skills, leadership experience and love of community service and is providing an excellent avenue to explore my future. The learning, fun and possibilities in 4-H are limitless… just ask me.

What 4-H Means to Me

What 4-H Means to Me

By: Crystal Rose Bromley I was born into the 4-H family, but chose to me through some of the toughest times in my become involved and learn new things from my life. 4-H has been a guiding force for me, it has experience. My grandpa, aunts, mother, cousins also been one of the most consistent activities I and sisters all participated in 4-H. My mother is have been involved in. also a 4-H leader and the Dairy Barn SuperintenFurthermore the 4-H program is one of the dent, it was basically my destiny to be a part of greatest factors that determined who I am today. the 4-H program. However, the difference is that It has done this by teaching me to live by the all those before me only participated in show- six pillars of character:  trustworthiness, caring, ing cattle, growing their knowledge in one small respect, responsibility, fairness and citizenship. fragment of what 4-H has to offer. I chose to go Learning and acquiring each of these skills has beyond that getting involved in not only showing made it easier for me to relate to people and dairy and beef cattle but also pushing myself out animals alike, thus making it easier for me on a of my comfort zone into uncharted areas of 4-H daily basis to talk and learn from others. Also, it by my family such as: entering several crafts into has allowed me to keep an open mind about difthe exhibit building, volunteering, attending sev- ferent opinions and ideas. eral workshops that focused on different aspects Basically 4-H has been the starting block for of 4-H and eventually applying and earning the the life I have now. I can’t thank my 4-H famrole of 4-H ambassador. ily and all the people involved with keeping the Throughout my experience I have gained a program alive enough for the opportunities and lot of knowledge, and learned even more life experiences they have opened up for me and lessons. I wouldn’t have traded my experience others like me. Thank  you, 4-H family,  friends for anything in the world. 4-H has changed me and supports for allowing kids to participate and so much in the past 13-plus years I have been learn from this life altering experience! involved in the program. It has also gotten

My name is Rosie. This story is about my second year in the 4 Star 4-H Dairy Club when Brian Holladay let me take a calf for my project when I was 8 years old. When I first met my calf, he was pretty wild. It made me think that he should live in the jungle with the rest of the wild animals. That is why I named him George – just like “George of the Jungle.” George really lived at Holladay Farms with other 4 Star 4-H calves. I got to go there to take care of him and practice for showing at the fair. It was my job to take care of him and keep him clean and help with chores. My first year was easy but now it is harder because I was older and had more jobs. I had to help keep the pen clean. The best part of that was putting the new straw down and throwing it around. We all chipped in and made it fun by working together. I used my hands because my mom said that I am too little to use a pitch fork – maybe next year! Being in 4-H, I learned a lot about calves and how to take care of them. My dad thinks that the hard work is good for me. He says it has taught me how to be responsible and a good worker. Being responsible for my animal was a lot of work but it was worth it. I got to meet a lot of new friends and learned stuff at the 4-H meetings. I really like being in 4-H because I get to do new things and be able to be around my friends and the animals.

By: Rosie Alvesteffer

4-H pages Oct. 12, 2017