4-H is a family activity

Provided Photograph 4-H Dairy Club alumnus Alicia Keller, right, was interviewed by Otto Uberty, a second-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club, as part of a 4-H project.

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 with 4-H Dairy Club alumnus Alicia Keller, who was interviewed by Otto Uberty, a second-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club.

Otto talked with Alicia about her own 4-H memories following a 4-H Family and Consumer Science Club meeting.

The interview:

What’s your name? “Alicia Keller.”

How many years have you been in 4-H? “Too many to count, but I was in 4-H from when I was 8 until I was 18. And then I started volunteering when I was 25 again, so I took a break.”

What clubs were you in? “Swine club, The Indian Falls Crafting Crew, and I was a teen leader. I did a lot of teen events. I did STARR and Career Explorations. I got to travel to Washington, D.C., for the National 4-H Conference and I was a national 4-H Conference facilitator in college and on the planning committee for high school, so I got to do lots of fun things.”

How has 4-H changed since you were in it? “I think that the 4-H’ers today are way more involved than the 4-H’ers were when I was in it. 4-H’ers try a lot of different clubs and try to experience a lot of different things. Also, we did a lot more community outreach when I was in it, but still the basic principles are the same.”

How did 4-H affect your adult life? “4-H affected my adult life because it helped me make a lot of connections when I was a kid that I can use in my career today. I also made some of my best friends in life in 4-H. So, friends and connections.”

What is your favorite 4-H memory? “My favorite 4-H memory is not from when I was in 4-H, but when my sister was in 4-H. For her whole 4-H career, which we did as a family because we believe 4-H is a family activity, she worked to win Grand Champion Goat, Sheep and Pig project and last year she did it. It was really cool and exciting that her last year in 4-H and my family’s last year with a 4-Her, Melissa worked hard and achieved that goal.”

Why is 4-H valuable? “4-H is valuable because it teaches you to break out of your shell, meet new people, experience new things, try things that you wouldn’t try on your own and it’s fun. 4-H is a lot of fun and I think you wouldn’t have that fun otherwise.”

Thanks Alicia, for sharing your memories with me.

– Otto Uberty

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, Elizabeth Jurs was interviewed by Annalise Syberts.

The series has also featured Carol Beideck, who was was interviewed by her grandson, Jake Beideck, a fourth-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club; Anika Gianforte, who was interviewed by her nephew, Tate Zuber, a first-year 4-H member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club and Chops and Hocks Swine Club.

Look for additional interviews in upcoming Lifestyles/Extras.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1