4-H is all about leadership for CHS student | NevadaAppeal.com

4-H is all about leadership for CHS student

by Maggie O'Neill

Hannah Works feeds Clover and William two times a day. Be there sun, rain or snow, the two get hay.

Sixteen-year-old Works, a sophomore at Carson High School, raises cows, pigs and sheep as part of her involvement with 4-H.

“Sometimes I take (the cows) out for walks,” she said. “But that’s usually during the summer, and I’ve gotten a couple of strange looks.”

Works, who has been involved with 4-H since age 9, was recently appointed to be the state representative to the National 4-H Youth Directions Council.

Members of the council meet at least once a year in Washington, D.C., for training and to discuss how to move the program forward in their own states.

“It’s the highest honor you can receive nationally in the 4-H program,” said Andrew Dunckelman, a spokesman for the Directions Council. “This is for the people who have shown outstanding work.”

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Works will travel to Washington in April. She visited there this past spring.

“I think you have to have goals for something besides school,” Works said. “It helps you just keep busy. I don’t have much free time, but I know that people who have nothing but free time often get into trouble. If you have goals for something else, you’re striving just to reach that, and I think it helps so much.”

The appointment to the Directions Council is for 18 months. Additionally, Works is a state advocate in the Western region of 4-H and involved in the local 4-H Club.

“She’s one of the rare ones,” said Tonja Dressler, 4-H youth development assistant, who has spent time with Works in the livestock program. “She’s very sharp and has a really good quality about her. She’s a very good listener.”

Works decided to join 4-H when she was younger because she saw her older brother and sister having a lot of fun and many opportunities. She began 4-H in the livestock program by raising a pig.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was doing,” she said. “Pretty much my goals were to raise the animal as much as I was supposed to, get a good feed program going, and to learn as much as I could.”

Since her first experience with that pig, she has raised nine others, as well as four lambs and four dairy cows. As she grew older, her involvement became more complex.

“Now I’m getting more into the leadership part of it and doing a lot more public speaking,” she said. “I’m also a teen leader.”

Come spring, Works will part with William, who will be about a year old then. She said that is sometimes difficult, but is part of raising an animal.

She plans to breed Clover, then sell the cow and keep her calf. She puts most of her money back into purchasing more animals and saves the rest for college.

With all of her different responsibilities at local, state and national levels, Works said it can be hard balancing her time.

“I have the national thing going on. I’m a state ambassador. I play (varsity) basketball for Carson High. It’s hard to keep it all balanced and keep it under control. Sometimes you just have to give a little here and there and make some compromises.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

About 4-H

• For the Carson City and Story County 4-H clubs, call 887-2253 for ages 9-19.

• “To make the best better” is the 4-H motto.

• For the national 4-H Web site, go to http://www.4husa.org.