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Spreading the “4-H Bug”

Jerry is a retiree and currently volunteers in the 4-H learning gardens in Calhoun County, working as he is available. He also answers my many gardening questions and offers advice. I’m grateful for his commitment to the Calhoun County 4-H program, and am glad to share his 4-H story with you today in his own words. Jerry says:

“I became involved in 4-H at age nine so that I could go to camp.  My older sister and brother were going, and I didn’t want to be left out.  At camp, I caught the 4-H “bug” and it has never let me go.

As a member of 4-H, I always found new and interesting challenges to do such as learning to swim at camp, collecting insects, growing a garden, raising and showing calves and pigs, farm judging at North Florida Fair, judging beef cattle at Tampa, Florida and dairy cows at Waterloo, Iowa, and attending 4-H Congress at Gainesville.  All provided experiences and knowledge that were not available to me elsewhere.

Youth enjoying the Calhoun County 4-H Learning Gardens which Mr. Wyrick helps to maintain.

Youth enjoying the Calhoun County 4-H Learning Gardens which Mr. Wyrick helps to maintain.

Now in a volunteer capacity, I enjoy watching members grow and enjoy new and novel experiences which are available through 4-H Club programs and knowing that I am helping young people grow to be positive examples for their peers. “I continue to volunteer with 4-H because of the payback of having previous 4-H members relate to me what 4-H meant to them and how it helped them to achieve their personal accomplishments.  If young people are expected to be positive influences on society, they must be provided examples and knowledge of meaningful lives.  They must be exposed to new ideas and experiences so that they know choices are available to them.  If the next generation is to be different – is to be a positive generation – they must be taught as young people.  There are no better teaching methods than those available through 4-H Club programs.”

If you are not already a volunteer, think about sharing your talents with us!  You can fuel the extraordinary efforts of our youth by joining us as a volunteer.   To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit  Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week!