4-H Testimonials

Leaders' testimonials to the 4-H Program.

1. Chuck Sylvester

Weld County 4-H Alumni, Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame

CHUCK SYLVESTER Followed by God and my Parents, 4-H has had a great influence on me throughout my life. As a young boy of 10, my parents signed me up to become a member of the LaSalle 4-H Club. My first project was a red-horned shorthorn steer. Taking care of that animal taught me responsibility, because I knew that animal depended on me for its daily food and overall care. With the following years there came more steers and heifers, which helped start my small beef herd. Then there was 4-H judging, taught by Virginia Painter and Paul Hoshiko. Their teachings set the way for my learning how to speak in front of an audience and defend my placing of the animals. Most importantly, judging taught me how to make a decision! Sometimes you’re wrong, but – you learn by these mistakes and therefore march forward trying not to repeat them. Without a doubt, my interest in and fondness for livestock, is what encouraged me to attend Colorado A & M…now known as Colorado State University. This is where I received my undergraduate in Animal Science, followed years later with a master’s in Ag economics. This foundation of formal education and boots on the ground work gave me the opportunity to engage in the truly rewarding job as an extension agent – working with 4-H youth. One good Ag related job led to another, until I was able to enjoy 25 years surrounded with 4-H and FFA youth, and everything else ag related from livestock to beans at the National Western Livestock Show and Rodeo.

2. T.W. Jackson

Weld County 4-H Alumni

 T.W. JACKSON 4-H provided a wealth of valuable experiences and connections throughout my time with the organization. I remember to this day the many public speaking opportunities I had, and how nervous they always made me. But the leaders in the group always helped me to prepare and encouraged me through each engagement, and that has made all the difference to me in my professional life. Little did I know at the time that a large part of my professional career would revolve around influencing and motivating others. The comfort I feel now speaking in front of groups of all sizes I can trace directly back to those early, nervous days in 4-H. It wasn’t just the opportunity to speak at large events that impacted me, but also learning the process of how to prepare for an audience. 4-H helped me to develop the understanding that every message has to relate to the audience as they are, and speak to them. I learned this lesson and many more from the talented and dedicated leaders in 4-H, and count many of those leaders as friends to this day.

3. Amy Cooksey

Magic Spurs 4-H Leader

AMY COOKSEY Learning life skills while developing life virtues and tools and being positively surrounded by the people I live with is how I describe what 4-H means to me. My experience in 4-H taught me so much. First, working with my projects taught me several life skills. With my cattle, I learned how to evaluate and select for quality, and then feed, fit, and compete with them in an atmosphere where I had fun doing it. In my other projects I learned how to cook, bake, sew, crochet and, present what I made focusing and organizing every big and little detail in a fun yet competitive environment. I still use most of the previously mentioned skills today, and proudly remember the fun and hard work it took to learn them. Additionally the 4-H program was and is structured to grow members into becoming leaders in their clubs and communities, and develop their citizenship, cooperation, and organization skills. Through our county and state 4-H program I got the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and learn a lot more about citizenship, and the virtues our nation was founded upon. On that same trip I met kids from other counties in our state that I am still friends with today. The relationships I have developed on the local, county, state, and national levels with other members and leaders and extension have been priceless.

4. Paul Hoshiko

Weld County 4-H Alumni, Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame

PAUL HOSHIKO An active member of the Weld County Kuner 4-H Club, Paul Hoshiko capped off his 4-H experience by being selected as the second young man to represent Colorado in the IFYE Program (known then as the International Farm Youth Exchange). Because of his IFYE experience as a delegate to Scotland in 1952, Paul was instrumental in the expansion of the Colorado 4-H Foundation to insure the future of the IFYE program in Colorado. Paul Hoshiko was a dynamic leader in many areas including agriculture production, agriculture policy, community development and 4-H in Weld County. Whatever endeavor he took an interest in, Paul was the person that everyone would look up to and listen to. He was a true leader in every sense of the word.

5. Jack Annan

Weld County 4-H Alumni

JACK ANNAN As a nine-year member of the Big Bend and LaSalle 4-H Clubs from 1943 to 1952, the experiences were invaluable. The knowledge, leadership skills and public speaking abilities gained through 4-H had a positive influence in his 55-year career in education and participation in community services.



6.  Luke Lind

Weld County 4-H Alumni

LUKE LIND Fairs, Livestock Judging and attending the Washington Focus trip were some of the most memorable times for me in 4-H. I met many lifelong friends and been given great opportunities which broadened my horizons growing up in Weld County. Because of these experiences in 4-H, after high school I decided to go to college and get a degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University. I believe that 4-H gives our youth responsibilities and life skills that can be put to use every day. My two boys are involved in 4-H and my hope is that they too will have the opportunity to benefit from the experiences that 4-H has to offer.

7. Savannah (Hirsch) Lussier

Weld County 4-H Member

SAVANNAH (HIRSCH) LUSSIER My name is Savannah (Hirsch) Lussier, and I have been in 4-H for 4 years. I can say that it has been a ride for me! Starting out as a shy kid to the club president has been a journey. All the tools of being a significant figure in society, I have learned through 4-H. I have learned speaking skills, leadership skills, how to work in a group, how to be active in the community and so much more. Through 4-H I have been able to see myself grow as a successful person. By learning and developing my skills I have been an officer for my club all 4 years, my first 2 years I was the vice president and then the last 2 years I was the president! I was elected as this 2012-13 year president too. 4-H is a great idea for anybody, it has so much to offer a person, I wouldn’t change being in 4-H for anything!

8. Art Hoag

Weld County 4-H Alumni, Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame

ART HOAG 4-H helped prepare me for my adult life and professional career in many ways that I would not have expected. 
4-H helped equip me for my adult life through personal interaction and leadership skills as well as networking skills, which I believe to be an essential skill in today’s world. 4-H also helped equip me for my professional career by providing me with the necessary environment to develop interview skills and professional etiquette. The experiences and background that I gained throughout my seven years in 4-H have directly contributed to my accomplishments both in my adult life and in my professional career. Most importantly, 4-H reinforced my passion of High Power Rocketry and helped me to further pursue that passion.

9. Kirby Moore

Weld County 4-H Alumni

KIRBY MOORE 4-H gave me skills that I use every day as an educator. The public speaking I learned through demonstrations, contests, and working with the Youth Executive Council helped me to become a better teacher. The record keeping skills I learned through project record books have aided me both professionally and within our household. The leadership and responsibility that I gained as an officer, volunteer, and representative on 4-H trips have served me well throughout my life. Many of the friendships formed have lasted a lifetime. One of the greatest assets to me was the role modeling of the adults who gave so much time to 4-H. They exhibited skills that embody what it means to be a good teacher, mentor, and volunteer.

10. John K. Matsushima

Weld County 4-H Alumni, Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame

JOHN K. MATSUSHIMA The impact of 4-H club on the future lives of many people no doubt varies but without any doubt I am sure that more positives have exceeded the negatives. In my particular case, I can say that my life thus far has been a very happy and fruitful one. Ever since my early life, I was fortunate to be involved with 4-H. In being a member of 4-H in Platteville, Colorado, I was fortunate to learn the intricacies of cattle raising. The prize winnings of my 4-H calves enabled me to earn scholarships to enter college to further my education. The knowledge gained from college opened the opportunity for me to be involved in the academic field for more than fifty years. During these years, I had the opportunity to travel the world several times to assist people, young and old, in livestock and food production. Thus, in a small way, I hope I was able to pursue the objectives of 4-H — HEAD, HEART, HANDS AND HEALTH.

11. Cody LeBlanc

Weld County 4-H Member

CODY LEBLANC 4-H means to me an opportunity to make new friends, take on leadership rolls and experience new and different activities. Try new things that I may not have had the opportunity to do if I wasn’t involved in 4-H. You can pick a project that will help you in your future career or just to do it for fun. After he aged out of 4-H, he has since become a 4-H leader for the Rabbit Project to continue serving the 4-H program.



12.  Mary Ellen LeBlanc

Weld County 4-H Alumni, Tailtwisters 4-H Leader

MARY LEBLANC I think for me 4-H meant friends and fun when I was a teenager. I met people from all over the county and to this day, still have some great friends that I would never have met had it not been for 4-H. It was an opportunity to learn about things that I would never have done, like show a dairy goat, not something a kid who lived in town really had the thought to do until my best friend introduced me to 4-H. What it means to me now is that I am proud to be part of an organization that continually promotes kids and their successes, and grooms them to be responsible/respectful adults. “To Make the Best Better” couldn’t be a better statement as that is what 4-H does for our youth. It also still means friends and fun! I have made some great friends as a 4-H leader and a 4-H parent.
4-H helped equip me for life and my career by offering so many programs, projects and activities for me to grow and learn. The adult sponsors and leaders were crucial and instrumental for the choices I have made as an adult.