Is 4 H worth it?

My experience with 4 H has been up and down this first year of membership.  I feel like it is a secret society that has very little known rules.  It is not willing to share the rewards until you prove yourself.  

 In the beginning when we had purchased the farm, we looked up our local chapter of 4 H.  I made contact with the lrader and was excited how open they were to us visiting.  After talking to some neighbors I discovered that our local county does not allow livestock showing.  Ugh.  So I found another club in a different county.  It was a larger club so a little harder to meet people.  I made a point to attend all activities to try and get to know as much as possible.

I learned to ask tons of questions to the point of annoyance.  As we approached fair time, we discovered we needed to attend ethics class, register the animals, register for the dept. of health, learn to clip a goat, learn to listen to judges, learn dress code, etc.

All of this in different places of resources.  So, this week was the big culmination of our learning with the county fair.  We washed and trimmed the goats, purchased the right clothes ( which I will tell you it is pretty hard to find white pants in july), invited friends and family, took the week off of work and volunteered in the 4 H food stand.  All to find out that we had registered wrong and now the kids would not be able to show.  They admitted they had to turn away many first year families and that there is a huge learning curve.  They encouraged to ask lots of questions and to call them directly.  I responded I thought I was asking questions and it b is hard to call and ask for what you don’t know to ask.

I have mixed feelings on this whole year.  I am feeling like this is a one way relationship and pretty much have to fail to have any idea of what is going on in this 4 H world.  Well, 2016 -17 here we come, hopefully a little smarter and wiser.

5 responses to “Is 4 H worth it?

  1. Oh man! 4H was always so much fun for me! The learning experiences and the bonding with the animals is a memorable experience! I had similar experiences with creating friends in my club but I don’t remember having so many issues registering. The rules obviously must be different then they were when I was a part of it. Keep going! Don’t give up! It’s a bummer the kids couldn’t show this year, but next year will be all the better!!

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  2. I did 4-H as a child and teenager, was a youth leader and had a lot of fun. We showed cows. Now, I’m introducing my son to it, although, he’s in a club that does all the crafty things and not animals. We may do something with animals if he sticks with it. I remember when our family first joined a club, I was 10 and I did feel like an outsider for a couple of years. After that, not so much. You will find your niche and your place in the club. Keep asking questions and remember to have fun, no matter what!

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