Category Archives: 4-H

Gail’s Story

My story won’t fit either, so I hope you don’t mind me joining your post. The following is a copy of the letter I have submitted to my State Representatives:

The US House is proposing to severely cut Smith-Lever funds needed by 4-H and Extension Services. Ohio will lose $1.3 million for the fiscal year that is almost half over, which means more than two dozen lost jobs from already reduced staff. The Extension Service provides free unbiased, researched based information and trusted educational programming. It serves a growing, increasingly diverse constituency with fewer and fewer resources. At a time Ohioans have the greatest need for the benefits the Extension Service offers, cutting its funding will end up costing Ohio far more than the proposed cuts are trying to save.

To share with you the total scope of services and benefits an Extension Service offers would take more days and pages of testimony than you or I can afford, so I will offer testimony as to how just one extension agent, in only one of her many roles as an OSU-Miami County Agent, affected just one 4-H child and her community.

In the past 4 years, my oldest daughter’s 4-H activities have resulted in her
volunteering 800 hours (a value of $5600 @ $7 hr.) for community service for programs such as:
• Operation: Military Kids Hero Camps – helping the children of military families deal with the stress of deployment.
• OSU-Miami County 4-H Camping Program, -serving children from all over the county, -not just 4-H kids.
• CARTEENS – serving as a youth facilitator for the Ohio State Patrol’s monthly traffic safety program for juvenile offenders.
• Personally raising $2,000 in 4-H fund-raising projects, benefiting local non-profit agencies such as children’s hospitals, food banks, homeless shelters; deployed military servicemen and their families; disadvantaged children; and local families in crisis.
• Now too old for 4-H, her dedication to community service continues in her volunteer work as an ENT Oncology Student Aide at OSU’s Cancer Hospital, and for Habitat for Humanity.

She has provided a total of $7600, or an average of $1900/yr., in support of her local community.
The true value of benefits received by the recipients of her community service is immeasurable.
She is but one of 844 4-H members and 1809 youth served countywide; 317,286 youth served State-wide.
Consider the volume and diversity of the community service 4-H kids bring to their community and State, and you begin to understand the Extension Services’ influence is profound, far- reaching, and undeniably life changing.

There are benefits the Extension Service offers that simply cannot be measured. Please consider the profound impact they have had for my daughter, and remember, Extension Services help so many others like her:
• Thanks to participating in Citizenship Washington Focus, Operation: Military Kids, CARTEENS, State Leadership Camp, and countless local community service projects, my daughter developed remarkable leadership and citizenship skills. Coming from a small, underfunded public high school that was unable to offer but one AP course, her high school transcript could not boast the level of rigor other college applicants enjoyed. But thanks to her 4-H experiences, she was able to demonstrate qualities colleges valued highly. As result, she earned direct-entry admission to the three most competitive pharmacy programs in our state, one of which has a 5.6% acceptance rate.
• Thanks to opportunities the Extension Service offered, my daughter was able to demonstrate leadership and citizenship that resulted in her being selected as an Ohio State University Welcoming Leader; a Dayton Better Business Bureau 2010 Student of Integrity Winner; DAR, Lion’s and Rotary Clubs Citizenship Awards winner; a Top 10 Girls Nation Finalist and City Central Committeeman at Buckeye Girls State; and class officer throughout high school, including President of the National Honor Society.
• Her 4-H resume led to her being awarded over $25,000 in local scholarships, which was especially needed her senior year due to her father’s unemployment.

The example I offer demonstrates the difference just one extension agent made, and it illustrates only one of the many roles this extension agent fulfills. She illustrates why the lost of even one extension agent is too costly, – the cuts in funding proposed by FY 2011 CR will cost the jobs of more than two dozen.

The Extension Service builds communities in ways that are perpetuated across generations. Like my daughter, I started in 4-H, and the leadership and service skills it fostered remain with me. 4-H led me to my career as a Family and Consumer Science Teacher, and being recognized as a Dickenson T. Guiler Excellence in Teaching Fellowship Award winner. The value of community service 4-H instilled in me led me to co-found and help fund the start-up of a State approved, local, non-profit early childhood center which provides high quality care and services to families of children age 3 – 13. I also volunteer as a Science Olympiad Coach and 4-H Advisor. The Extension Service is responsible for my livelong dedication to serving youth and my community. How does one put a dollar value on this? It’s difficult to appreciate until you live in a community that hasn’t a single State approved child care facility, or enough citizens willing to give their time and expertise to try to make their community a kinder and better place.

My testimony is not unique; it’s true of countless others who haven’t yet realized the need to alert you to the Extension Services’ true value and importance. At a time when Ohio continues to lose critical services due to budget cuts, it is a fool’s game to cut Extension Services that empower individuals with resources, skills and the character needed to strengthen their communities.

Please do all that is in your power to stop the proposed cuts in the Smith-Lever funds proposed by FY 2011 CR, and restore funding needed by the Ohio Extension Service. Our communities cannot afford to lose this vital and effective community building program. It is a cheap investment that has consistently yielded high returns year after year, and Ohio needs its services now, more than ever.


This story is a story from our Facebook Page… Please contact your rep ASAP!

My Story of 4-H…

I was suppose to write this for the Brand Advisory Team that I am on, but I feel like sharing my story for you to read. I hope this encourages you to start writing your 4-H story. Feel free to email me ( with your story, and I will post it here, for all to read. I’m also posting this here in hopes that this story will make you contact your congressman/woman and tell them how 4-H has made a difference in your life and to support equal funding for the Smith-Lever act. For more info: @CESValue @4h @runneals

4-H is my life! I couldn’t imagine my life without 4-H. 4-H has helped me achieve better leadership, citizenship, and presentation skills. 4-H has helped me help my community, by providing many volunteer activities. It has also, in the last few years, gotten me interested in geospatial technology (GIS Mapping, GPS, Geocaching, etc). Continue reading

The Value of CES

I was sent this from a colleague of mine who asked me to host this… PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR ASAP! and Follow @CESValue

I’m writing to express my interest in restoring the funding that if allowed to take effect will severely affect the Cooperative Extension Service in New Mexico as well as around the country.  I’m speaking with firsthand knowledge.  Not only did I spend my childhood growing up in 4-H, I decided to make it my career when I graduated from College. You see, 4-H is not just another youth program; it is the premier, top notch program that was developed by the people working within Land Grant Universities.  4-H is a grassroots program that has members as young as 5 and volunteer leaders in their 90’s.  You would have to look long and hard to find such a diverse age range that is expressed in these cross generational partnerships within one organization. The great diversity of the 4-H program does not stop there, agents in every county in New Mexico offer more than 200 project areas that will capture the interest of any youth. These projects range from animal, nature, and science to rocketry, healthy living, responsible budgeting, and most of all leadership.

Within the 4-H program we teach our youth to be respectful, active members of society. They leave this program with the confidence and ability to make the right choices. I hope you were a member of 4-H as a youth or you have made it a point to get involved with this great program. For if you had ever know the benefits of 4-H, I know you will be fighting with tooth and nail to save our funding.  Another important factor of the 4-H program is that not only do we offer youth over 200 projects but we emphasize a sense of community in these young people’s hearts. I don’t care if you are in the most rural of towns or here in Las Cruces, you will see  4-H youth getting together and making a positive change within their respective communities. The youth not only identify the need, they go about a plan to address that need and then put that plan into action. 4-H is the largest youth organization in the world, we are reaching more youth than anyone else in a time that nobody is reaching enough. How can we expect the good old USA to stay strong and productive if there is nobody teaching these qualities to the youth?

If the 4-H program is lost we will be doing our country a great disservice that is not justifiable. We cannot cut funds to the programs that keep these youth from getting in trouble. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. We are teaching America’s youth to fish both figuratively and literately.  Youth are leaving our program and being a positive factor in the world, we are keeping kids off the streets, off drugs and out of trouble. Please don’t take that away from our kids. If we are no longer there for them, who will be?

The 4-H program is worth saving in its own right, but it’s not even close to what Cooperative Extension has to offer.  Cooperative Extension is the people’s arm of New Mexico State University, we take the knowledge and research findings from the University and put it into the hands of the people, the same people you serve. Don’t you want your constituents to be well informed and utilize knowledge to the best of their abilities? If funding to Extension is cut, so are many of the opportunities that people have to better their lives. I don’t see how you can look anyone in the eye and say Yes! Cut Extension Funding.  Knowing what a great negative impact you will be bring on one of the last positive, diverse, and life changing programs available to the people of United States Of America.

John R. Allen,

Doña Ana County

Livestock/4-H Agent

The Value of CES & 4-H…

Hello all,

I’m writing to you with a need. If you haven’t heard, the US House of Reps’ H.R. 1 CR is proposing cutting $217 Million from NIFA’s budget. This is more than 1.5 times greater than the 10.3% cut proposed in overall non-defense discretionary spending. The largest proposed cuts in NIFA are $29.8 million from the Smith-Lever Program, which would harm America’s 4-H Clubs (which provide positive youth development to over 6 million of America’s youth) and other Cooperative Extension programs that help farmers and ranchers grow more food and consumers eat nutritiously.


I have a feeling if these budget cuts did get passed, it would end up looking like Lane County, Oregon did. There were VERY SAD kids, because of this. If this didn’t move you, I don’t know what will. These kids’ futures will for sure be impacted. So PLEASE WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE ASAP and do your part to make happy kids!

Contact your representative here!

!!The Reason!!

The message is to encourage Congress and the White House to treat the Cooperative Extension budget line (Smith-Lever) the same as other formula funding lines by restoring the Smith-Lever line to FY10 levels similar to all other formula fund lines in the budget. The request is for you to highlight and share success stories in your state, by you and by your constituents so as to develop a clear picture of nationwide support for Cooperative Extension . We need your stories of impact and success as expressed by you and your constituents in the social media to make this work. This effort is being done in parallel with the other more traditional efforts of mail, email, and face-to-face contact with Congressional representatives. Both actions need to be taken for maximum effect. House
Members are in recess this week and may be back in their district for meetings.

The Impact 4-H has had on My Life

4-H has impacted me in MANY ways! I LIVE FOR 4-H! I have been able to become a much better person. I have learned valuable leadership and presentation skills. Because of 4-H, I have been able to have an impact on the national level. I’m currently working with National 4-H Council. I would NEVER be where I am today without 4-H. So, PLEASE SUPPORT 4-H!

Here are a few links for more info on the impact of not receiving more funding:

The value of Cooperative Extension Service – @cesvalue

The value of 4-H – @4h

The Revolution of Responsibility – What AMAZING projects 4-Hers are doing

News article from LA: Proposed Budget Cuts would Hurt 4-H