4-H leader says everyone should get involvedJul 29, 2014 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer
Amanda Winchester, of Lander, has been participating in 4-H for 33 years.
She started when she was a child, competing in the events, and then became a leader for the local group Sinks Canyon 4-H Club.
Winchester also worked in two different county extension offices around the state with the 4-H programs when she was in college.
"I really believe that 4-H teaches the kids leadership, responsibility and gives them a lot of great opportunities and experiences," she said.
During her experience, she competed at county, state and national levels and went on to coach students who competed at those levels as well.
"I have gotten to know lots of great kids and helped them compete and travel to some pretty cool places," Winchester said.
With completion getting ready to gear up at the Fremont County Fair this weekend, she is looking forward to competing and celebrating the 4-H program being in Wyoming for 100 years.
"I love fair --it is my favorite time of year," Winchester said.
Highlights of the fair for her include watching the livestock show and seeing children and parents from around the county.
She noted it is also a time for children to meet other children they wouldn't have known without being in 4-H.
"Some of my best friends are still people I hung out with in 4-H as a kid," Winchester said.
It's "not even a question," Winchester said, when it comes to children debating on whether or not to get involved.
"You can be a part of anything from drawing, cooking, sewing to animals big and small," she said.
Through 4-H, children learn skills such as public speaking, judging different things, information about animals and more.
Winchester said she is a little biased when it comes to the topic as one of her influences comes from her father being the county extension agent for more than 30 years and being a huge part of 4-H.
"I have had several other businesses in town tell me that they would hire anyone who was in 4-H or (Future Farmers of America) because they know about responsibility and how to work hard," she said. "That is a huge compliment to the program."
Winchester noted 2014 marks the 100th year of 4-H in the state of Wyoming.
"A great opportunity for a lifetime," she said.
The passion for 4-H was not just passed down to Winchester --her son, Jacob Winchester, has also become a competitor.
Jacob Winchester, 17, has been participating in 4-H for nine years.
For fair this year, he said he has pottery, drawings and market lambs to compete with.
"My favorite part of competing is getting to see my friends," Jacob Winchester said.
Likes his mother, he has also be able to compete at county, state and national levels.
"I have gotten to meet some great people," he said. "It is important to be a part of 4-H because it is just part of our family. I have gotten to travel and have fun with 4-H."
Jacob Winchester's brother, Colby, 15,also participates in 4-H.
He has been completing for seven years and is working on the same projects as Jacob Winchester for fair this year.