4-H programs date back to 1902, when they first got their start in rural America. 4-H now has a presence all 50 states and over 80 countries worldwide, making it our nation’s largest youth development organization. The 4-H program is rich in history and also in alumni, which means I get to connect with 4-H alums wherever I go. I always enjoy hearing about the experiences and skills that 4-H alumni have had in the program. Recently, I was able to connect with a 4-H alumni who had a hand in preparing my own wedding dress.
My fiancé and I will be tying the knot this weekend. We have been planning our wedding for almost a year now and have been working with lots of vendors and services to prepare for our big day. A few weeks ago, I had my final fitting appointment for my wedding dress. My seamstress, while busy measuring and pinning the dress, asked the question, “so, what do you do?”. I explained where I work and what I do as a 4-H Agent. Her response, one that I always enjoy hearing, was “Really? I was in 4-H!”.
She went on to explain that she learned how to sew by participating in the 4-H clothing construction project, a project that still exists today. She participated in a nearby 4-H program and told me about the awards and recognition that she received for her 4-H sewing projects. She remembered taking a few of her items to the Kansas State Fair, and even told me about projects that didn’t receive very high remarks but that she learned a lot from those mistakes. She joked that she should wear one of her 4-H sewing pins on her shirt while she works as a seamstress as way to signify that she is “qualified” to do her work.
It is always fun meeting 4-H alumni and hearing about their own experiences in the program. It is also neat to know that 4-H played a role in preparing my own wedding dress!