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October 03
What 4-H Means to Me: Kevin Silverthorn

​In the spirit of National 4-H week, we have asked some GreenStone team members to share their experience in 4-H, either as a member, a parent or a volunteer. As you will read in their stories this week, it is evident 4-H has a positive impact on many people in many different ways!

SIlverthorn.jpgEffective and timeless, with a simple mission to help make the world a better place. Teaching practical skills, and ultimately setting the stage for success in the lives of many. In a general sense, that’s what    4-H is, but that’s only the beginning of what it means to me. I carry many fond memories from my time being involved in 4-H. Dating back as far as I can remember, spending time at my local 4-H youth livestock auction. On what always seemed to be the hottest week of the summer, I would be propped up on my father’s knee hoping to bid on my favorite hog or steer. As soon as I became eligible as a youngster myself, I was active in cloverbuds growing garden vegetables.

My development as a 4-H'er continued when it became my turn to be in the sale ring with my 4-H swine project. These years shaped my life and who I turned out to be. Some of the things I learned such as responsibility, hard work, and patience are still at the forefront of my day-to-day activities as an adult. A number of years later, I was furthering my education at Michigan State University where I found myself tied to the     4-H community once again. This time as an educator, interning for MSU Extension as a 4-H and youth development specialist, recalling some of the things I’ve learned and relaying them to others.

As I am able to reflect on my 4-H experiences, it becomes glaringly obvious to me that 4-H means much more to me than others may anticipate. It means being a part of something with a goal of not just benefiting yourself, but the communities we live in. I often think that one of the greatest attributes of 4-H is that it always has a localized feel, yet when you sit back and think about how integrated it is, in so many communities across the nation, it truly is a national organization. 

With that being said, it’s one of the greatest things that connects so many people no matter where you are, and is one thing that will always stick with me. Ultimately, 4-H to me is an organization that epitomizes practicality through hands-on experiences in the real world, and it is those very experiences that help lead the world we live in today and into the future.​

Kevin grew up in St. Clair County, Michigan and is currently a financial services officer in the GreenStone Concord Branch.​


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