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Cecily Jester

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following essay was written by a 10-year 4-H member about the topic “What 4-H Means To Me.” The Courier-Times received the essay from the Henry County Purdue Extension Office. This year, there are 26 10-year 4-H members. The newspaper will feature essays from two members per day, in alphabetical order by last name, until each member has been featured.

What has 4-H meant to me? 4-H has meant hot summers in the show ring and cold winters in the barn preparing, but I can’t imagine my life without it! 4-H has taught me the meaning of, “You win some, and you lose some.” Although we had our fair share of loses, it only made our victories that much sweeter. You don’t remember loses, but you sure do remember the wins!

4-H has meant friendships. I’ve made lifelong friends through 4-H; friends that I never would have met otherwise.

4-H has meant courage. I remember the first time I showed in mini 4-H I was terrified, and my dad had to walk in the ring with me to hold the calf. As I got older, I was excited to get in that show ring, and I didn’t want my dad to even walk the calf to the ring for me.

4-H has meant responsibility. Sometimes teenagers only think about themselves; I’m guilty of it at times myself, but I feel like 4-H has helped me realize there are others who are counting on me. Not only are there animals counting on me to feed them every day, but I have classmates, teammates, teachers, and parents depending on me to do my part every day so they can do their jobs.

4-H has meant toughness. If I’m going to lead a 1,200 pound calf into the show ring, then I’m going to have to be pretty tough and show it I’m the boss. This attitude also carries over into my everyday life. I’m typically not the kind of person that lets others walk all over me; I owe a lot of that toughness to 4-H.

Finally, 4-H has meant to me that my best can always be better. If I have a heifer that just won’ set her feet right, I work and work to try and make it better. I wouldn’t want to go into the show ring and set her feet up wrong. This mentality has spilled over into everything I do from school to volleyball. I want to be the best that I can possible be. To put it simply, thank you 4-H form making me tough, courageous, responsible, and the best me that I can be!