Kelsey Troxell, Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Reporter

For April, our 4-H Club was unable to meet and have our regular monthly activities due to COVID-19. This will surely go down as one of the most unusual times in 4-H history. All Frederick County Clubs have had to stop all in-person activities, and all our animal shows have been canceled and postponed to a later date.

Since my club was unable to do our monthly activities, I decided to interview one past Frederick County 4-H’er and three current Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H members.

Chad Umbel

Chad Umbel is a past Frederick County 4-H’er, a past State of Maryland and Catoctin FFA member, the current Chief of Vigilant Hose Company in Emmitsburg, the current Assistant Chief of Operations at Fort Detrick Fire Company, and a dairy farmer. Let’s just say that Chad is a very “essential” worker at this moment. Here is a little background on Chad’s 4-H years. Chad was a member of the Toms Creek 4-H Club. His projects included Dairy Cattle and Public Speaking. He served as a past secretary and treasurer. In FFA, Chad was a part of many teams at Catoctin High School. He also attended State and National Conventions, where he was awarded a State FFA degree. When asking him what his favorite part of 4-H was, he stated he “enjoyed meeting new people and talking with others.” All those years in 4-H helped to influence Chad’s life now in many ways. Chad said he has used the skills he learned for his leadership role at his job today. “Learning how to talk to people so that they understand you and know what you mean is very important,” Chad said. Chad and his family are still involved in agriculture today. Chad helps to run a dairy farm that is in his family. He still attends some state and national dairy shows, and his daughter, Kayla, has participated in many dairy shows. They have quite a few winning cows in their barn, with the help from family and friends. Chad has been a firefighter for over 25 years. Chad has a strong work ethic and encourages others to work just as hard. When I asked what he thought the best way was to get more young people to join 4-H, Chad simply said, “Go talk to them, tell them what you do, and how it has impacted your life.” I can’t thank Chad enough for taking the time out to be interviewed by me, and for all he does for our town and community. Oh, and I can’t forget…next time you see Chad out, ask him to sing a few tunes for you. I hear he is a fabulous singer in the tractors, with friends, and on stage. This information comes from some reliable past 4-H’ers/FFA members!

I asked Preston Clark, Lexi Bureau, and Sierra Carter to do a “Rocky Ridge Club 4-H Lightning Round” for me, where I asked them six questions each, and they were supposed to respond quickly.

Preston Clark

Preston has been in 4-H since he could breathe…not really, but I’m sure it feels like it. I can remember being in Poppies when I was younger, and Preston was there with his sister, Caroline. Preston’s projects are anything and everything to do with sheep, crafts, sewing, baking, and field crops. Preston’s favorite thing about 4-H is craft meetings and making “cool things.” I asked Preston what he tells his friends about 4-H, and he said, “I love being in 4-H; there is so much that you can do. It is for everyone.” When Preston grows up he wants to have a farm of his own. I have no doubt this will happen.

Lexi Bureau

Lexi Bureau has been in 4-H since the 3rd grade, and her brother is also a member. Her current projects are Beef Heifers and Steers and Craft Group. Lexi’s favorite part of 4-H is “friends, animals, and learning about other animals.” Lexi is a great friend to have in 4-H, she is very helpful and lots of fun to be around, I can personally say that. When I asked her what she tells her friends about 4-H, she said, I tell them it’s about “taking care of animals and the community. It’s for kids 8-18, and you get to talk about agriculture.” Lexi said when she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian. I’m sure Lexi would be a great voice for both animals and people; she is very smart.

Sierra Carter

Sierra Carter has been in 4-H since she was eight years old. She has two beef steers, and has attended many shows locally and nationally. Sierra is one of our clubs’ senior members, and she is a great role model for us all. Sierra says her favorite part of 4-H is “making new friends and the exposure to all the opportunities.” Sierra said that she tells others what a great opportunity 4-H is, that is teaches many life skills. Sierra is a graduating senior at Catoctin High School this year. She plans to attend FCC in the fall, and then transfer to a four-year college to focus on Ag Business. Sierra has a bright future in front of her and lots of ambition. She will go far and help agriculture be better.

Lastly, I asked Preston, Lexi, and Sierra to give me one word that they would use to describe the Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club…Family, Loyal, and Awesome!

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