Final year 4-H’ers reflect on experiences

Five 4-H participants have shown for the last time. They were recognized during intermission of the queen contest July 30. These are their reflections on their time in the program.

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Gracie Chittum

My name is Gracie Chittum. This year I turned 18 and graduated from Brown County High School in June.

After watching my cousin show her horse at the 4-H horse show, I wanted to do it, too, and I signed up for 4-H the next year. I have been in 4-H for five years now and have loved every minute of it.

Being in 4-H has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. It has taught me a lot about responsibility for myself, my animals and about helping others. I have made some really good friends, and those friends are family now. They may not be blood-related but they are “my 4-H family.”

I have participated in horse and pony, swine, goat and beef and I have been to 4-H camp every year.

For me, 4-H isn’t about winning a first place or getting a grand champion ribbon. It’s being a part of 4-H, what I have learned and getting to be with my friends and family. I just love being in 4-H and showing my animals. I’m sad this will be my last year.

Next fall I plan to go to Vincennes University where I will be studying criminal justice and law enforcement. I plan to then continue my studies at Indiana State for a degree in forensics. I plan to sign up as a volunteer in 4-H. I want to help others enjoy 4-H like so many have helped me enjoy it these last few years. And I know for a fact that my future kids will do 4-H.

Jacob Cumberledge

I graduated from Brown County High School in June 2017. I am a 10-year member of 4-H. I has enjoyed learning new things from my projects and leaders, and have completed many projects such as rabbits, pigs, sheep, dogs, cats, foods, microwave, photography, woodworking, wildlife, models, small engines, and arts and crafts.

I plan to attend IUPUC in the fall to earn a bachelor of science degree. I then plan to attend IU and get my doctorate in physical therapy.

Madison Fields

I have been in 4-H ever since I can remember. I started out as a Clover Bud and joined Lick Creek Love Bugs when I was in first grade. Over my years in 4-H I have shown a variety of animals: cat, horse, goat, sheep, chicken and rabbit.

I have also done a variety of projects. Some of my most memorable projects have been photography, cake decorating and crafts. As a result of 4-H I have developed some skills that I may not have developed otherwise. I enjoy taking pictures and decorating cakes in my free time.

I graduated from Brown County High School this year with an academic honors diploma. I was also a multi-sport athlete while in high school. In the fall I am going to attend Indiana State University where I am going to study environmental science and pole vault for the track and field team.

Azhia Morgan

The 4-H program has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and has been some of the best times in my life so far. Not only have the projects I’ve entered been fun to complete, I have also learned many skills like helping my community, running a food booth at our local fair, and my group has taken me on many educational trips.

It truly has been a great experience all around, and I am thankful for all the leaders who have been with me all the way.

Shawn Rodgers

My family never owned a farm or a large field, so there was never any big push for my brother and I to go into 4-H, although our father was extremely involved in the program when he was a child. I finally took a leap and joined the shooting sports program, which at that time was an up-and-coming program that would soon be the fastest growing club in Brown County’s 4-H program. I decided that year to take another step out of my comfort zone and run for a leadership role in the club. I ran for and was elected vice president of shooting sports. The club was invigorating and there were many volunteers willing to help teach the youth of Brown County firearms safety.

As I became more comfortable with shooting sports, I decided to try my hand at woodworking, one of my father’s specialties in the 4-H program years ago. I received reserve grand champion in my division for a bookshelf I had made that year.

The 4-H program became a big part of who I am and I strongly encourage all kids to join 4-H because there are so many great clubs to join. It teaches all to be creative, to be kind to one another, and to help our county and the people in it, so why wouldn’t you want to join?