4-H provides a place to belong

Provided Photograph Ron Weiler, left, a 4-H member in the 1950s and 1960s, was interviewed about his experiences by Maggie Winspear, right, a 14-year-old member of many 4-H clubs.

Members of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club recently completed a series of interviews with 4-H alumni in Genesee County.

The goal of the project was to learn about the alumni’s 4-H experiences and learn how 4-H has changed during the last 70 years. The alumni include local leaders, business owners and mentors.

Sixteen interviews were conducted, including today’s interview between Maggie Winspear, a 14-year-old member of many 4-H clubs, and Ron Weiler, who start in 4-H around 1951 and continued until 1963.

Maggie is a member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club, Fur and Feather, Chops and Hocks, Goat, FCS, and Teen Club.

Here is Maggie’s account of her interview with Ron Weiler:

Ron started in 4-H around 1951 until 1963.

He was in dairy club. His uncle, William T Bolas was the leader of the club. They used to meet in Batavia. They would go to tractor dealership in winter months to learn how to change oil, grease and fix different equipment. Other months they would go over feeding, caring and showing cattle. Tractor safety was a big part of learning.

Ron worked for his uncles and they would buy calves for him. The week of the fair was the only time he would be off from the farm.

In later years, Ron joined Future Farmers of America. He also he felt really proud being part of those two groups, FFA and 4-H.

County fair was something he looked forward to the whole year. Ron started working with his cattle months before the show. Ron also showed and raised many pigs.

The fair didn’t have any buildings. They would keep everything under tents. The older boys would sleep in the tents.

Ron met his wife Sandy at the fair. Sandy’s dad owned Sterling Tents. The first night Ron said he was done with his chores, then he had a chance to go to the Midway. There he met Sandy, she had been putting up tents all day.

Ron also remembers going to state fair in Syracuse with animals. Spending time there was a lot of fun also.

Ron has since then taken over Sterling Tents and also has a farm. He raises organic crops.

Ron thinks 4-H is great for today’s youth as it gives kids a place to belong.

Thank you, Ron, for letting me interview you.

– Maggie Winspear

The first of the 4-H interviews appeared in the May 9 Lifestyles/Extra. The story featured Esther Johnson, who spoke with Bing Zuber.

Last week, Evan Winspear interviewed his mother, Kathy Hersee Winspear.

The series has also featured Carol Beideck, interviewed by her grandson Jake Beideck; Anika Gianforte, who was interviewed by her nephew, Tate Zuber; Elizabeth Jurs, who was interviewed by Annalise Syberts; Alicia Keller, who was interviewed by Otto Uberty; Jaime Mowry, a former Genesee County Dairy Princess, who was interviewed by Renee Uberty; Steven Kuszlyk, who was interviewed by his son Alexander Kuszlyk; Dennis Bezon, who was interviewed by Mason Werth; Shelley Reynolds, who was interviewed by Georgia and Caroline Luft; Mike Zuber, who was interviewed by Caryolyn Sybertz; and Tristan Hrobuchak, who was interviewed by her niece Gia Zuber.

Look for additional interviews in upcoming Lifestyles/Extras.

Read past interviews at thedailynewsonline.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1