Recipient of the 2023 Chester County Spirit of 4-H Award
When my mom was younger, she showed dairy cattle and then when my brother was in middle school he began showing livestock so naturally I wanted to follow in his footsteps. We were introduced to this side of the industry by our family friends Bill and Cheryl Fairbairn who have been some of the best mentors throughout my years in 4-H. My first year I started out with showing pigs and shortly after picked up lambs, cattle, and even a goat one year. I am currently an active member of the beef, sheep, and swine club and show at both a local and state level.
4-H has taught me many valuable life lessons but the three that stick out the most to me are responsibility, hard work, and leadership. I've learned responsibility through caring for my livestock which includes providing fresh feed and water, monitoring their health, and cleaning out their pens. I've learned hard work as 4-H requires late nights, early mornings, and nitty gritty dirty work. Yes, often sacrifices are made for your animals but we do it because we love it. Lastly, I've learned leadership through serving in a variety of office positions and currently serve as the president of the beef, sheep, and swine club. All three of these skills are used in my daily life as both a student and employee.
After being an active member of 4-H for over 10 years I've made countless memories and met some of my best friends. I think my favorite memory might be this year's 4-H show. I won Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Market Hog, Grand Champion Market Steer, and Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb. Winning the pig show was particularly memorable because I was able to show in the grand drive with my sisters Hannah and Sarah. Being able to celebrate the win and all of the hard work we put in this summer with them is something I will never forget.
I am currently a freshman at Penn State University and am majoring in Animal Science. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do but I know it will be something within the agriculture industry!