Of 4-H’ers and Filamentarians
01.02.19 Abbey Alderman
I grew up in 4-H. Today, I serve as leader of our local 4-H club (shout out, Rutland 4-H).
But, I’m not alone.
Did you know 75 percent of Filamentarians were in 4-H in their youth? The values 4-H taught us are instilled in us. If I stood up and started reciting the 4-H pledge, there’s a high probability another 25-30 Filamentarians would stand up and join in. Ok, maybe I’d be the only one standing, but they’d at least start saying the words in their heads.
Being involved in 4-H, past and present, and working alongside a team of people who grew up in 4-H gives me a unique perspective.
I’ve seen and experienced the qualities 4-H members possess. The qualities that align with Filament’s own mantra, “We Live It.”
What are those qualities?
4-H’ers speak up about their passions.
Whether kids are passionate about cows, cooking or crocheting, 4-H gives them an outlet to share their passions. In our 4-H club, we encourage members to speak up by giving a demonstration to fellow club members. At the fair, we kick things up to the next level – we prepare kids to talk about their projects with the public. We spend a few minutes preparing a 4-H elevator speech: what 4-H is, why it’s awesome and some of the cool things 4-H’ers get to do. We also prepare them for conversations specifically about animals, to make sure the public knows how well we care for animals whether they are a 4-H project or not.
Today at Filament, you can still find us speaking up about our passions. For some of us, we continue to be involved in 4-H and other ag-related organizations. For others, we live our passions through content creation, customer experience or digital marketing. We’re a passionate bunch, and I believe 4-H instilled that quality in us.
4-H’ers are leaders.
Boy, oh boy, does 4-H grow leaders. In our club, leadership is a requirement. Almost everyone in our club serves in a leadership role. The joy and excitement the kids have when earning a leadership role fills me with pride. Our officer team is charged with setting an example for the rest of the club, and they continuously exceed my expectations. These young leaders come to meetings prepared, provide thoughtful input and follow up on action items.
You know what that last sentence sounds like? It sounds like the meeting expectations we have here at Filament. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, at Filament is a leader. No matter our place on the team, we take ownership, keep each other accountable and share success as a team. No single person is responsible for these tasks because we’re a team of leaders working towards a greater goal.
These qualities were instilled in us as youth and we still live them today. I like to think of Filament as a 4-H club, just a slightly more “matured” group (old seemed a little harsh).
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