4-Hers share stories

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WEST ALLIS

“Four-H did so much to impact my life,” says Sarah Schuster, a Dane County 4-Her who is co-president of the Wisconsin 4-H Leadership Council.

She serves with Lynn Galbraith-Wilson, the adult representative from Rock County, in the newly organized council that resulted from the merging of the Youth Leader Council and the Adult Leader Council.

The purpose of the Council is to provide a statewide forum for 4-H Youth Development volunteer leaders and youth to discuss ideas and provide input to enhance UW-Extension 4-H Youth Development programs at the state, county and local level.

Members of this council serve as leaders and role models for 4-H youth and adults, advocate for Wisconsin 4-H, provide input for enhancing the 4-H program, provide educational opportunities to 4-H members and leaders, and serve as a connection between state, foundation, regions and counties.

The Council consists of a group of youth and adult volunteers elected at the annual Fall Forum. The Council works with Fall Forum, State Youth Leader Conference, and UW Extension Day and Meat Products Auction at Wisconsin State Fair.

Schuster formally thanked supporters of the Wisconsin Meat Products auction at the Wisconsin State Fair after supporters raised more than $130,000 for the benefit of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, an organization that supports a variety of 4-H conferences, activities and workshops.

Schuster described how she had been, what she calls, “a hyper child” before becoming involved in the 4-H program.

“4-H did so much for me to help me focus and accept challenges,” she said.

“I started by showing llamas and donkeys and then, looking for a challenge, I began to show dairy,” she notes.  “Wanting more of a challenge I started showing beef.”

She describes her experience in that project, illustrating that even when 4-Hers do not receive top awards they still benefit from the experience.

“I showed Franklin,” she describes. “He really didn’t like to eat and I tried hard to get him to eat so I could show him at the fair and enter the sale. Franklin didn’t make sale weight but because he was so small and friendly, he played a big role in helping me teach children about beef animals.”

She also talked about other 4-H experiences, including how she became involved in the Leadership Council.

“I spent a few days with 600 other 4-GHwers at the Youth Conference earlier this year. It was an amazing experience,” she says.

Out of that conference the youth helped to form the new leadership organization.

She concluded her thank you to the supporters by saying, “Thank you for your support. Because of your support you are helping another generation of hyper kids out there who need 4-H to impact their lives.”

Besides funds raised from the Meat Products auction, 55 individual donors at the event contributed $102 each in honor of 102 years of the 4-H program in Wisconsin.

In addition, more than 30 vendors at the Wisconsin State Fair donated a portion of their sales on Tuesday, Wisconsin UW-Extension Day, to the auction benefiting 4-H.

One of the supporters of the event, Egg Innovations, contributed $500 for each purchase that went over the record sale price for the product.

Major sponsors of the event include Meijer’s Food Stores, Egg Innovations, Jill and Bob Nieskes, Schenck SC, Wells Fargo Food and Agribusiness Group, Rupenas Fine Foods, Milwaukee; Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors and Wisconsin State Fair.

Many individual contributors also contributed to the sale and the silent auction.

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