4-H provides preparation for life on farm, and as 4-H parent

Provided Photograph Georgia and Caroline Luft are shown with Shelley Reynolds of Reyncrest Farms in Corfu.

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 Georgia and Caroline Luft and Shelley Reynolds.

Georgia Luft is a member of the Genesee County Dairy Club, and Caroline Luft is a fourth-year member of the club. They both are also members of the Fur and Feathers Club. Shelley Reynolds and her husband, John, own and operate Reyncrest Farms in Corfu. She also farms alongside her three children, Tyler, Mackenzie and Andrew.

Here is what the Lufts learned from Mrs. Reynolds:

Which 4-H group or club were you in? Mrs. Reynolds was a member of the Genesee Country 4-H Beef Club that would meet monthly. She was an exhibitor of beef cattle from 1984 to 1987.

How were the fairgrounds different in the 1980s verses now? Mrs. Reynolds said that the fairgrounds is very similar to what it was back then. She said there were large trees between the dairy and beef barns that provided shade. Most of the buildings are very similar to what was there then.

What 4-H projects did you complete? Mrs. Reynolds had a steer each year.

What was your favorite 4-H memory during fair week? Mrs. Reynolds’ favorite memory is the remodel of the barn which everyone contributed to. When they remodeled the barn, she made new friends.

What was the most inspiring moment for you in 4-H? Mrs. Reynolds said it is actually from her first year of showing. She had only gotten a crash course in how to show a beef cow. Mrs. Reynolds said there really wasn’t a novice class so she showed within her age group instead. She was delighted when we realized she finished fourth in the class of 30 something in showmanship. Mrs. Reynolds said that moment inspired her to learn more and become a better showman.

Do you think 4-H impacted your life? Mrs. Reynolds said she can’t see firsthand how it impacted her life directly as much as she can see how much it impacted her whole family’s life. Mrs. Reynolds parents were not very helpful to her in showing and she had to learn and do everything herself. Mrs. Reynolds said that made her a better 4-H parent to her children when it was time for them to attend fair. She said 4-H taught her many skills and traits that she has used through her life, she said she learned a lot.

Did 4-H play an impact on your career path? Mrs. Reynolds said she didn’t pick a career path because of 4-H, but the knowledge and traits that she learned through 4-H has helped to make her successful in running their family farm with her husband and children. She is the main person responsible for office duties for Reyncrest Farms in Corfu. In addition to tending the office duties she also works on the farm as well. 4-H prepared her for life on a farm.

Would you recommend 4-H to youth today? Mrs. Reynolds said she definitely would recommend 4-H to youth! She went on to say that youth learn to work hard and reap results depending on the time they put into it. She likes 4-H because if you put the time in you will have a great experience. Thanks Ms. Shelley!

– Georgia and Caroline Luft

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, Mason Werth, a member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club, interviewed Dennis Bezon, a Genesee County 4-H alumnus.

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, and Elizabeth Jurs, who was interviewed by Annalise Syberts, a second-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club; Alicia Keller, who was interviewed by Otto Uberty, a second-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club; Jaime Mowry, a former Genesee County Dairy Princess, who was interviewed by Renee Uberty, a fourth-year member of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club; and Steven Kuszlyk a Dairy Club alumnus, who was interviewed by his son Alexander Kuszlyk, a first-year member of the Genesee County Dairy Club.

Look for additional interviews in upcoming Lifestyles/Extras.

To read past interviews, go to thedailynewsonline.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1