"4-H equipped me with me with guidance to network, utilize resources, take on new obstacles and gain value through experiences."
B.S.'14 Ag Leadership & Science Education, University of Illinois
Conservation Specialist, Illinois Corn Growers
Favorite 4-H Projects: Woodworking, Electricity, Leadership, Rabbits, Sheep
How did 4-H contribute to your leadership skills today?
4-H contributed to my leadership skills by tasking me to discover my strengths and interests. Through 4-H I gained leadership skills serving as a club officer and learning to focus and be engaged.
Did 4-H instill a career path for you?
Ironically, leadership was my least favorite project. My parents challenged my brothers and I to take advantage of the opportunities 4-H gives you. 4-H made me step outside my comfort zone and led me to work at 4-H Memorial Camp, where I met my wife, and it led me to my career path and majoring in Ag Leadership at the University of Illinois.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in your career path?
You have to "learn from being uncomfortable". Cold calls and public speaking may be awkward, but they are rewarding skills. Take advantage of the extras. In my career, working with farmers, I gain from words of advice or knowledge.
What advice would you give a current 4-H member?
Take advantage of various opportunities and diversify. Diversifying your experiences can help you create a path for future goals, when deciding on a career or other aspiration. You don't always realize your interests, so try different things.
Why should young people join 4-H today?
4-H provides a connection at a young age to the reality of life. It provides growth, sparks creativity and sets a standard to "be the best you can be". 4-H offers a community and builds life-long friendships. 4-H will create a foundation for one's success.