A Project for Better Journalism chapter

4-H’s Helping Hand

By Shelby Boden

I pledge my head for clearer thinking, my heart for greater loyalty, my hands for larger service, and my health for better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world. This is what 4-H is about and why I am thankful for it. 

“One of the best things about 4-H was the friends I made. The friendships and the experiences we had together. We all had something in common, something we could relate too.” Mike Arbuckle, 4-H leader, said.

But 4-H is more than friendships and experiences.

“It started my college fund. It gave me the confidence to be around other people. I learned how to compete, learn how to handle both winning and losing, and help others.” Julie Boden said.

Not only has 4-H influenced people on their social experiences but also in their career choice.

“Being around agriculture I knew I wanted to help in that area. It all starts from growing crops for feed and picking out genetics to make our industry better.” Boden said.

You can learn from 4-H not from just the showing part but also from the friendships made.

“4-H has taught me how to be responsible leadership, and value of friendship.” Trent Finegan said.

Projects in 4-H aren’t just a do it yourself project, it takes others too.

“4-H should be a family project. Kids nowadays are so busy doing more than just 4-H and that’s good. I teach my kids we do this as a team project and doesn’t matter who does better we all win a banner together. With the cost of everything it’s hard to make money on a project, so sometimes parents have to help with the cost.” Boden said.

But many parents help in a different way, sadly.

“Some parents may live through their kids in 4-H but I tend to see that more in sports. The biggest issue I see in 4-H is the money people are paying for livestock. I’m not talking about a few hundred dollars either,  I’m talking about thousands of dollars. The people who are spending this kind of money have one thing in mind and it’s not the 4-H experience. This isn’t going to change either, I only see it getting worse. Same with sports. Some kids are pushed to the max at a young age playing AAU or travel ball and by the time they hit high school they are burnt out.” Arbuckle said.

In the end, 4-H will always stay with you no matter what and that’s why I am thankful for it after 9 years. 

“Having compassion to help other people to learn how to show and start up new businesses. Teaching kids that there is more out there than winning and to have passion in what you want to do is what I kept with me and I’m no longer in my prime time.” Boden said.