MANHATTAN, Kan. – Making goals is an important life skill, and one that is a teaching point in 4-H, one of the largest youth organizations in the United States.
Two Kansas 4-H members – 10 years apart – said that their personal goals may seem quite different now, but they started from a similar foundation.
Seven-year-old Nora Ingram of Riley County is a first-year member of the College Hill 4-H club.
She says her favorite part of 4-H so far is “entering my chicken (in the county fair). It was fun giving her a bath.”
As for goals, Ingram said: “I want to incubate chicken (eggs), put (the chickens) in the fair and sell them. I also want to be a barrel racer, and try (showing) bunnies and dogs.”
On the older end of the 4-H spectrum is 17-year-old Rachael Kovar, also of Riley County and the College Hill 4-H club, who has been in 4-H for more than a decade.
“My favorite part of 4-H has been the different types of people I’ve been able to interact with,” she said. “I’ve met people that I never would have known without 4-H and I cherish all of these friendships.”
Despite all her experience now, it wasn’t too long ago that Kovar was also a new 4-H member with big goals.
“When I was very young, I set the goal of becoming Riley County 4-H queen when I saw 4-Hers who were leaders in my club serve in this role,” she said. “Back then, I just wanted it for the sparkly crown. As I grew older, I realized that it was so much more than that. In 2021, I was able to achieve that goal and it is probably one of my highest moments in 4-H.”
And Kovar’s best advice for new 4-H members? “Take advantage of every opportunity you are given. If there’s a project meeting, go to it. Try new things. If there’s a workshop, sign up. Camp? Sign up.
“You really get out of 4-H what you put into it, so the more opportunities you take advantage of and the more hard work you put in, the better the payoff. And you definitely will never regret it.”
More information on opportunities available through Kansas 4-H is available at local extension offices in Kansas.
— Annika Wiebers, K-State Research and Extension news service