As we roll into the end of July we also roll into one of my favorite times during summer, county fair week! This year my 4-H club is celebrating a huge milestone. The Miles Mavericks 4-H Club in Jackson County is celebrating 100 years of Miles 4-H. This 4-H club has been growing leaders and empowering youth to reach their full potential for a century! It began as the Miles Calf Club in 1921, which later was named Miles Baby Beef. The Miles Meadowlarks was the girls 4-H club, which later evolved into the Miles Mavericks and combined both girls and boys clubs. The evolution of these clubs have been producing the future leaders of tomorrow for 100 years. In the early years, since Miles is near the county line, members would choose which county they would show in, either Clinton or Jackson, with each being well represented by the members. I am extremely grateful to be a part of such an extraordinary 4-H club with such a rich history and strong foundation, and I hope they continue to grow and prosper for years to come. I am currently serving as our Miles Mavericks 4-H Club President and can not wait to celebrate our achievements at this year’s county fair.
The 4-H organization however, is no stranger to building leaders. It has been around for over 100 years as well and is one of the nation’s largest youth development organizations. The 4-H motto is to make the best better and that is exactly what it has been doing. Regardless of age or county, in small town Iowa, literally everyone has a fun 4-H fair memory. To me, 4-H means family. The 4-H organization has been around for generations within my family, dating all the way back to my great grandma. She was a 4-H leader when the Jasper County Cloverettes began in the 1950’s. My grandma was later a 4-H leader of the same club. My mom is now one of our assistant leaders of the Miles Mavericks. I have cousins from both sides of the family active in 4-H. We may all represent different counties, but we all exemplify the same rich traditions, work ethic, and culture has always remained the backbone of the organization, to grow leaders and make the best better.
I encourage all youth to join a local 4-H club because the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of the Miles Mavericks 4-H Club for the past nine years and to even serve as the club’s president as we celebrate 100 years of Miles 4-H. Be sure to come out to the Jackson County Fair to help celebrate this incredible milestone! And as the saying on the back of our celebratory t-shirts reads, “Our 4-H roots run deep, 100 years strong, we grow tomorrow’s leaders all year long!
~ Kesley Holdgrafer