Learning and Teaching By Doing: Sportsmanship

Kids look to their parents and coaches as role models and they will follow our lead. Our ethics and sportsmanship directly influence the youth around us. We need to promote the idea of honesty and fair play above all else. This has even greater implications in the livestock show ring where our actions and our children’s actions can directly influence our livelihoods.

Joe Ostaszewski Rides It Forward with 4-H

Joe Ostaszewski on bike

My brother, Henry, called and said, "Joe, I've signed us up to audition for The Biggest Loser." I pushed back at first simply because I was embarrassed. How could I have let myself go from being an elite athlete competing at the highest level to being obese? And now I was going to go on a reality show that would highlight the one thing I never wanted anyone to see, with millions of people looking at me and judging me? There was just no way I could take my shirt off in front of millions of people. I was in the worst shape of my life! I told my brother that I could not do it. His reply was, “You’re letting your EGO control you. Stop edging God out.” Weeks later, I picked up the phone, called Henry and said, “We are getting on The Biggest Loser.”

Hands on the Present; Eyes on the Future

Danforth Courtyard - small

The 'Hands' Conference Room at National 4-H Council looks out onto Danforth Courtyard. If you’ve ever been to the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, such as the groups who are here now attending Citizenship Washington Focus, you know this courtyard as the place where two statues stand, a boy and a girl. A short time ago, I was in 'Hands' Conference Room and had a chance to look out the window into Danforth Courtyard. Directly in front of me was the statue, “The American Farm Girl.” Across the side of the pedestal facing me I read, “Hands on the Present; Eyes on the Future.”

4-H Alumni Spotlight: Cody Lopez

4-H Alumnus Cody Lopez

Stepping foot onto the bus that took me to 4-H Camp, when I was nine, was the best decision that I ever made. Since that moment, I’ve loved every single thing that 4-H has offered me and have strived to dig deeper into the organization that made me who I am. Because of 4-H, I have the confidence to achieve things I never thought possible.


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Extraordinary vs. Ordinary in 4-H

On May 26, 2014, I celebrated being a youth development professional for 35 years. If you include my 4-H membership and 4-H Volunteer years, it becomes 47 years of 4-H involvement. I think that all that experience with 4-H members has changed the way I think about young people – raised the bar, so to speak. The extraordinary has become ordinary while the ordinary has become extraordinary.

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4-H Today is written, edited and published by National 4-H Council.