Often times, when students begin an activity they started back in elementary school, they do not stick with it. However, this is certainly not the case for junior Rachel Umpleby. Umpleby has been a proud member of the Orange County 4-H organization for almost ten years. Since being introduced to mini 4-H in first grade and joining regular 4-H in third grade, Umpleby has completed a wide variety of projects throughout her years.
“I attended 4-H camp twice in elementary school, and I participated in pig wrestling for four years. Projects I have taken include sheep, pigs, horses, a cat, electricity, photography, home environment, floriculture, model rockets and various arts and crafts projects,” said Umpleby.
Umpleby now only takes her favorite projects, horses and floriculture. Not only has she completed numerous projects in her years, Umpleby has succeeded tremendously and received many rewards for her outstanding work on projects.
“I have won Outstanding 4-Her, the Brownfield Network Showmanship Award and REMC Electricity Project awards. I have also won awards for champion and grand champion in the various projects I have taken,” said Umpleby.
When 4-Hers turn in projects for judging, ratings such as first, second and third place are given out. Furthermore, if projects are completed well enough, grand champions and reserved champions are also given out. However, only certain projects are selected to be judged past the county level, at the state level. Umpleby has had a project selected for state competition every year she has been in 4-H. This impressive feat was accomplished with a variety of different projects throughout the years.
“At the State Fair, I showed my horse one year, but every other project was non animal. I’ve had electricity, floriculture, photography, home environment and model rockets go to the State Fair. I’ve gotten blue ribbons on each non animal project and usually special merit as well. I placed second in reining at State Fair with my horse,” said Umpleby.
Umpleby believes 4-H is a fun way to learn how to do new things and gain new skills. Finishing out her ten years as a 4-Her will add more to Umpleby’s list of impressive 4-H accomplishments. Aside from the fun it brings Umpleby, there are some other advantages 4-H gives regarding her future education.
“4-H is sponsored by Purdue, and I am interested in going there for college. Scholarships or other advantages may be available if I attend Purdue because of my involvement in 4-H,” said Umpleby.
4-H has taught Umpleby many lessons over the years and will benefit her in many ways in the future. By participating in 4-H, she has learned that hard work pays off, and trying new things can be beneficial.
“4-H has given me the opportunity to explore new things and try projects I wouldn’t have otherwise. It has also given me the opportunity to meet new friends, and we have had a lot of fun at the fairgrounds preparing and showing animals. It’s rewarding to see all my hard work and preparing paying off,” said Umpleby.
Story by Jace Ingle