My story of 4H began long before I was born. My family has been involved in 4H in our country for over 50 years, so deciding to join a club was something that was already decided for me you might say. Luckily for my family though, I loved everything about 4H. In fact, there has not been a year since my birth where I have not been at the fair for almost the entire week. I remember doing posters for exploring 4H, but when I really became interested was when my cousins let me show one of their Angus Heifers in the beef open show. I don't think I had ever been more excited. I remember showing the cow, and looking at the ribbons and thinking, "I really want that light purple one!" That would have been the reserve champion ribbon, and of course I didn't know what that meant at the time but that happened to be my favorite color, and my lucky day because that is the ribbon I ended up earning. From there, I joined beef and swine club my first year in 4H along with doing a foods project. Then, my 6th year I joined lamb club. I have had my share of successes in all of my clubs, but that doesn't even come close to touching all I have learned, the friends I have made, and memories I have of spending time with my family in the barn. Those three things are what I will take away from 4H the most and what have shaped me into who I am today.
My main involvement in 4H has been in beef, swine, and lamb club. One of my most favorite parts of being in those clubs has been being an officer. I love leading others and having the chance to impact younger members while encouraging them with their project. This part of communication has also been evident through livestock judging. My team has judged as a 4H team and through this I have been able to make the best friendships and develop skills that will lead me into a career. Next year, I will be attending Purdue University to major in animal science with agribusiness. Keeping a foot in the animal industry is important to me while at the same time communicating with the public. I hope to use my degree to sell animal pharmaceuticals. I am so excited about the next phase of my life that is coming up quickly, but I know none of it would have been possible without the foundation of my 4H background.
One piece of advice I would give to younger members in particular is to get involved with something they are passionate about, whatever that may be. Don't ever be afraid to give something you love your all, because when you put hard work into what you love, success will come out of that. I wish everyone the very best as I leave lamb club and I hope that someday you can look back on your 4H experience and have wonderful memories, friends, and experiences that shape your life.
Guest post written by Lamb Club President, Marissa Lorenz