Washington State 4-H Youth Development Program

County Staff Spotlights

Spotlight – Whitman County

Janet Schmidt

WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program

 How long have you been at the county office?
17 years.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in San Antonio, Texas and while very young moved to Redmond, Washington.  

Favorite activities/interests:
Horses and trail riding with friends.  I also work on my place, do lots of garden, yard and pasture work and enjoy golfing and RVing with my husband.

What was your 4-H experience?
I was enrolled in a horse project in King County and then transferred to a horse club in Snohomish County.  I also started getting involved with the teen leader group in Snohomish County.

The Equitadores 4-H Horse Club in Snohomish County was an active group.  The club did horse camping in the summertime at the Teanaway River between Cle Elum and Ellensburg.  Several members including myself also showed Arabians on the Arab Show circuit.  There was lots of camaraderie and support between families and members in the club while camping, showing and other 4-H activities.

How did your time in 4-H help you over the years?
I gained competence and confidence through the 4-H horse project which I have been able to apply to all other aspects of my life.

What do you enjoy the most about working in 4-H? 
I enjoy seeing youth learn or accomplish a new task or project and then have success in that project.  The youth gain competence, confidence, new friends and life skills.  Youth feel so good about themselves when they accomplish a task such as doing well on a record book, or completed a well done demonstration or exhibited their project at the fair.  No matter the age, youth demonstrate great maturity, make good decisions and take responsibility for their actions. The youth see that if they apply themselves to the task and work hard, they will be rewarded with positive results.

How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow? 
I have seen youth take on leadership roles, step out of their comfort zones, try new projects and be successful.  Since I have been here, I have seen youth age out of 4-H, go to college, graduate and come back and become 4-H leaders.  Many youth understand the importance of giving back and strive to do meaningful community service activities to give back to the community. We have very supportive communities in Whitman and youth feel good about contributing to their communities. 

What else would be good to know?
Extension professionals do make a difference in the lives of the people that we work with.
Each day is a gift and we need to make the most of it 

Janet Schmidt
County Director & 4-H Youth Educator
WSU Whitman County Extension
(509) 397-6290

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