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October 04
What 4-H means to me: Kelsey Maye

​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!

Kelsey Mays.jpgFrom the time I can recall, 4-H has always been a part of my family’s life. We had a swine and sheep operation for many years. By the time I was about 7 years old, our family had sold the pigs and continued raising crossbred sheep. Throughout my 4-H career, I exhibited sheep, swine, beef and goats. I showed at the county, state and national level. 

Family is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my long career in 4-H. We did it all as a family. It brought our family very close by being a part of 4-H. Any success we had was made by a family effort and not just an individual.  

Personally, it taught me failure. It taught me that you will not win every time you step into the show ring. There will be some judges that may move your animal to the top of the class and some that just may not prefer your animal that day. The same goes in life. One day you could walk into a job interview and perform the best you could and it may just not be the right fit for you. 4-H taught me how to deal with that failure. How to keep going, push through and to keep striving to be better.  With failure comes character development.

At a young age, 4-H molds character like no other organization that I have been a part of. It teaches good ethics and morals, and I will carry these lessons with me for the rest of my life.

Being a part of 4-H created a deep-rooted importance for agriculture in my life. Farmers are what feed this world. I knew that I wanted to be a part of agriculture in some way, but I didn’t know what that meant until after I graduated college and had to opportunity to work with farmers every day. I also think that desire stems from the people that are involved in supporting 4-H. I looked up to all the volunteers that give countless hours to making the county fairs, state shows and national shows run smoothly. Now I see the importance of giving back to the youth. Someday my husband and I will have children that will hopefully be a part of 4-H and will grow up knowing the importance of something bigger than themselves. 

Kelsey grew up in Branch County and is currently a financial service officer in Hillsdale, serving Hillsdale and Branch County.


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