By Matt Reese
Albert Belmont Graham, known as the founder of 4-H, was born March 13, 1868 and went on to help change the lives of countless young people by starting the now internationally known program in Clark County near Springfield. As the home of 4-H, Ohio has been well represented during the previous years of the National 4-H Raise Your Hand Campaign, winning both years.
Through its “Raise Your Hand” campaign, National 4-H wants members, advisors and alumni to sign up for their state. The state with the most weighted votes by May 15 will bring home $20,000 to use towards 4-H programming.
I remember watching in awe as something I built as a nine-year-old launched into the heavens. One of my first 4-H projects was rocketry and I still remember the euphoria as I gazed skyward at my rocket soaring over the Hancock County corn fields. That project was by no means the most influential part of 4-H for me, but a fond early memory from the program that was a part of my life for many years.
I signed up this week to add to Ohio’s total and hopefully all of you former Buckeye 4-Hers will do the same. It doesn’t take long. My many 4-H projects, including photography, creative writing, various livestock projects, tree planting knot-tying, and rocketry helped to teach me skills that I use regularly, if not daily, in my current profession. (OK, so not really rocketry). The organization provided not only those skills, but also helped me to develop leadership and social skills that have helped to make me who I am today. And, this year is the first year for my 9-year-old son in 4-H. Any guesses as to one of the projects he’s taking to blast off his 4-H career?