Have you been thinking of enrolling your child in an extracurricular activity but don’t know which to choose? Well, 4-H may be the perfect solution for your family. 4-H has so many different programs to pick from and is sure to satisfy your kid’s needs. From raising animals to photography to baking, the options are endless.
To provide useful information to new 4-H parents, we asked parents/ guardians of a 4-H student to tell us a little about their experience. Karie and Trey Wimberly were two of many parents to take this opportunity to spread the word about this great organization. Below are their thoughts on being a part of the 4-H family.
Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
We are Trey and Karie Wimberly, we live in Goliad County and our three sons, Mac (23), Weston (20), and Walker (16), are the SIXTH generation of Trey’s family to call Coleto Creek Ranch home. We have also been Ag Workers members for many years.
How long have your children been involved with 4-H?
When Mac was in the 3rd grade, we enrolled him in 4-H, and he had a 10 year 4-H career, same with Weston; he also had a 10 year 4-H career, and Walker is in year 7 of his 4-H career. Since Mac enrolled, it has been 14 years. Before that, both Trey and Karie were active 4-H members for 10 years, respectively, Trey in Goliad County and Karie in Nueces County.
How did you hear about 4-H, and why did you decide to enroll your children in this organization?
Multi-generational would best describe our family 4-H involvement. The Wimberly Boys are third-generation 4-Hers. Trey’s mother, Julie Wimberly was a Goliad County 4-Her herself but also served 30 years as the Goliad County 4-H Program Assistant and was a recipient of the former Texas Agricultural Extension Service Meritorious Service Award. Trey served on the Texas 4-H State Council during his 4-H career. Karie’s parents in Nueces County were active 4-H committee members and volunteer leaders. Karie’s mother, Vicki Pollard, received the state Volunteer Service Award. Enrolling the Wimberly Boys in 4-H was an easy decision and one we looked forward to.
What 4-H projects do your children participate in?
Our boys have been very involved in community service projects and leadership opportunities. Their main projects included beef, citizenship, food and nutrition, wildlife and fisheries, family life, and safety. They raise commercial heifers and, over the 14 years, have developed their own herd. The boys incorporate much of their interests and daily skills into their projects. In fact, Walker has recently taken up the guitar and will be adding Performing Arts to his list of projects.
Have your children participated in and/ or won any contests? If so, what contests were they?
We live on a cow/calf operation, and the boys are knowledgeable cattlemen. They have won numerous Champion Commercial Heifer buckles. They have also won record book awards, Gold Star, Silver Star, and Bronze Star awards. All 5 of us have been awarded the Danforth I Dare You Award. In 2018, Weston and his Share the Fun group were State Champions with their Celebrate 4-H Skit, and they presented it to the entire State 4-H Roundup crowd at Reed Arena on the Texas A&M campus. Most importantly, we have won the favor of many friends and lifelong relationships with a lot of awesome folks. Weston was also recognized his senior year with a San Antonio Livestock Exposition School Tours Scholarship.
What is the time commitment per month?
Our commitment to 4-H varies per month and season. During the 4-H year, the boys dedicate time to club meetings, their heifer projects, and various community service opportunities. On average they would spend about 10-15 hours per month on 4-H activities. Again though the life skills and relationships that are built through the opportunities 4-H makes available are countless and immeasurable.
What type of monetary commitment does it require for your children’s projects?
Fortunately, the project choices our family participates in don’t require a lot of monetary commitment because the boys are involved in a project that is already a part of the ranching operation. As the years have passed, the boys have grown their own herd, and their commercial heifers come from that bunch of cattle. Therefore, only feed and vet bills were out of pocket dollars. Everything else was profit and went to their college funds. Their other project expenses vary but are minimal.
What goals do you have for your children during their 4-H career?
4-H is the ideal vehicle for the Wimberly Boys to jump on to gain the skill set and value add that is required to be a positive, successful, and contributing member of society. In these times our “Generation Z” youth are growing through, we all need the positive framework 4-H provides. In our opinion, 4-H is the greatest youth organization available because anything a kid is interested in can be a 4-H project! In our case, “Cows, Sows and Plows” fits easily because that is what we do on a daily basis, but the opportunities are vast. We are convinced 4-H has contributed to the men our boys are becoming.
What role do you play in 4-H as an adult leader, if applicable?
Today, both Trey and Karie volunteer as project and club leaders. Karie is the club manager for our community 4-H club and volunteers as the division co-chair of the Goliad County Homemaking Show as part of the annual County Fair. Trey and Karie are both former San Antonio Stock Show Scholarship recipients, so Karie helps guide and counsel local 4-H members with their 4-H Opportunity Scholarship applications and interview prep every year. It is a great way to give back to 4-H for all it has given our family.
What is your favorite memory from your children’s time with 4-H?
Our favorite 4-H memory is special. There would be no Wimberly Boys 4-H experience if it weren’t for 4-H. Trey and Karie met while at a District 4-H Leadership Lab in Brownwood, Texas. Trey was elected District 4-H President, and Karie was elected District 4-H Secretary. That was in 1989. Trey and Karie have been married for 25 years, so 4-H is the reason we became a family and the base for all our 4-H memories.
What advice do you have for new 4-H parents?
The best advice we could give is don’t try to do it all when you first begin but don’t be afraid to try new things. Allow your 4-Hers to lead you to the projects they want to participate in, and they will find success and skills that will serve as a cornerstone for their life as they produce the next generation of 4-Hers.
The Wimberly’s are just one example of a family that has benefited from 4-H. It is an excellent organization for children and teenagers alike.
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