How long have you been at the county office?
Three years as the 4-H Educator and, before that, five years as a Program Assistant.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Cowlitz County and have been a volunteer 4-H leader there for 15 years.
Cattle, poultry, music (playing the violin and viola), growing dahlias and cooking herbs/gardening, music boxes, photography, and chatting with people who are a part of any agricultural system.
What was your 4-H experience?
Sewing and fashion revue, baking, canning/food preservation, gardening, poultry and beef. In our club we always did record books, educational posters and a community service project.
How did your time in 4-H help you over the years?
4-H helped me learn how to better study and feed myself during my college career. It helped me learn about the cost/expense of animals and what we, as caretakers, put into and may be rewarded with from our projects. 4-H built up my math skills in estimating costs for things that I would like to or need to purchase. And, it developed me into a life- long learner with many hobbies that came from my 4-H projects.
What do you enjoy the most about working in 4-H?
I really like when I can be creative in my job -- creating signs or brochures, working directly with youth and adults, building up the promotion to bring in people for an educational event. I enjoy learning from 4-H volunteers about the experiences they have or learn from their youth. I really like it when they share stories with me! It’s fun to learn new things and work with others who want to learn or would like to teach our 4-H youth.
How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow?
Most impressive have been the really shy kids who join a club with outstanding leaders (we have several in Lewis County!). Those leaders help them grow into outstanding young adults. I have seen youth who will not even look me in the eye when I’m asking them herdsmanship questions the first year they are in 4-H and then willingly talk to me the second year, and, the following year, do a public presentation at the county level. The confidence the kids build in our program, even if they are smaller steps, is well worth the progress that they make.
What else would be good to know?
None of the things I do in my county would be worth anything without the time/work that the 4-H volunteers put in to working with their youth at the club level. They do so much to support the 4-H program in Lewis County!
WSU Extension Lewis County