Greenstone renews 4-H commitment to grow 4-H true leaders

GreenStone Farm Credit Services has renewed and increased its commitment to Michigan 4-H with a $75,000 pledge over the next five years.

Mecosta County 4-H’er and participant at the 4-H Veterinary Science and 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine workshops.

GreenStone Farm Credit Services has renewed and increased its commitment to Michigan 4-H with a $75,000 gift over the next five years. This funding will continue GreenStone’s support of 4-H volunteer recognition and 4-H teen and adult leadership training. In addition, GreenStone staff members are growing this partnership with Michigan 4-H by offering their expertise and skills to 4-H programs in local communities.

“Our employees and members are passionate about 4-H programs and the influence they have on young people, and as such, we believe it is essential we continue to provide support in a variety of ways,” says Dave Armstrong, CEO and President of GreenStone Farm Credit Services. “Our involvement in 4-H includes engagement at a local level by GreenStone team members and branch offices as well as corporate funding to enhance statewide programs. Many of our team members benefited from their involvement in 4-H and are committed to seeing 4-H remain strong for future generations. We are proud to support an organization like 4-H that impacts so many individuals in so many ways.”

GreenStone has partnered with 4-H annually to sponsor the 4-H Award of the Clover since 1988. This funding provides 4-H pins and certificates to recognize 4-H’s hardworking, long-time volunteers. Since 2014, GreenStone has also sponsored the Michigan 4-H Veterinary Science Workshop and the 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine Workshop, held annually in February.

Every year, many other 4-H trainings and educational programs are offered statewide for both youth and adults. Many of these are held at Kettunen Center, a complete conference and retreat facility owned and operated by the Michigan 4-H Foundation. GreenStone Farm Credit Services and many other donors make these opportunities available to participants at almost half of the actual price.

“We are fortunate to have generous supporters for our 4-H workshops,” said Nick Babcock, MSU Extension educator for 4-H livestock and veterinary science. “Kettunen Center and the workshops held there provide great opportunities for training, professional development and networking for people of all ages involved in 4-H.”

The 4-H Veterinary Science Adult and Teen Volunteer Leader Workshop offers participants education on animal systems and health for a broad array of species as well as hands-on demonstrations that will help leaders learn how to help younger members recognize healthy, sick and or injured animals. This workshop also gives participants a chance to network with, share information and experiences, and learn from other youth leaders who are also interested in veterinary science.

The 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine Volunteer Leader Workshop, co-sponsored by the Michigan Pork Producers Association, provides participants with a chance to learn about health, management, care and nutrition of beef, sheep and swine, meat evaluation and more. In addition, it offers participants an opportunity to improve communication and teaching skills.

Mecosta County 4-H’er Jadyn Herzog has attended both of these events at Kettunen Center.

“At the 4-H workshops I learned about my project areas and I got to learn problem solving skills,” Herzog said. “I love to show homegrown animals and breed almost all my own projects. I now understand how EPD’s work in cattle and I hope to use them more when I select the bulls that I want to breed my heifers to this spring.”
She is very excited to participate again next year. She talks about one of her favorite parts of the workshop saying, “I loved the genetics class taught by Dr. Taxis! It was cool learning how to match different nucleotides to find patterns in different genotypes for bulls…Coolest thing ever!”

“4-H has helped me learn responsibility, animal husbandry and how to work hard. Through raising my own animals and helping in my community, I have become more confident and independent. I am always looking to try new things and 4-H has a lot of opportunities to do different things.”

In addition to these 4-H workshops, Herzog attended 4-H Winterfest for three years and the 4-H Dairy Conference at Kettunen Center and has really enjoyed them.

“In addition to the sessions, I enjoy hanging out with friends, meeting new friends and playing spoons in our free time,” she said. “I also love the frozen yogurt at Kettunen Center!”

These workshops and many others at the Kettunen Center have had a huge impact on Jadyn and countless other 4-H participants. These 4-H experiences are made possible thanks to generous support from donors.

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