The Clinton County dairy youth program has a large and active membership, and provides valuable experiences.
Susie Green Clinton County 4-H Club Leader
"They grow as far as experiences. They take on more and more responsibility. They just blossom and become responsible, young adults."
Katie Thelen 8-year Dairy Club Member
"I didn’t see it as an obligation, I found it something fun to do. And then now, being done with 4-H I’ve come back just because I enjoy the people, I enjoy the content."
The program also has a large core group of club leaders who love working with young people.
Rodney Pennock—Clinton County 4-H Club Leader
"The best part is watching kids mature and watching them, especially some young kids that you know they don’t think they’re capable of doing anything and watching them mature. And when they get in a contest, they get in front like a quiz bowl contest and they press the buzzer and answer a question right, and watch that big smile on their face."
Members of this dairy youth program learn new skills.
Allison Schafer—5 Start Dairy Club Member
"Definitely improved public speaking skills and good sportsman skills. And I’ve definitely learned about myself that I’m more outgoing than I seemed to be."
Forrest Nash—Clinton County 4-H Club Member
"I believe it teaches you many of the skills that you need to become a proper adult."
And then there are trips. One such trip was to the North American International Livestock Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky where 4-H members watched the senior team compete in the national dairy management contest. With adult support and leadership, the Clinton County dairy youth program develops future leaders for the dairy industry.
"As I got older, we got more younger members as the county grew. And I started to realize that they looked up to me. So it forced me to learn how to lead and how to teach others."
And being involved is rewarding.
"The best memory that I have is at the end of a fair one day, one Friday at the end of fair, we’re driving home, I’ve got a little kid in my back seat, I’m just about ready to go ‘Man am I glad that’s over,’ and the little boy pipes up and says ‘That was the best week of my life.’ And so I instantly just closed my mouth and let him tell me what was so wonderful and I’m right there."