Stories

My 4-H Story: Marcie Rucker

My experience with 4-H is a not a traditional experience, but it's been an impactful and inspirational one. While I was not a member of 4-H as a child, I've been an active volunteer for over eight years. As the group leader of the Rockford Rebels 4-H club in Franklin County, Missouri, I've been a first-hand witness to the impact that 4-H has on our future generation. From interpersonal skills to career guidance, children across the country can benefit from being involved in an organization like 4-H.

 

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Marcie’s son showing goats at the fair


My husband's entire family has been heavily involved in 4-H for as long as I can remember. His 91-year-old grandmother is a lifetime member and I was excited to carry on this wonderful family tradition. I knew that when my children were old enough, I wanted them to have the opportunity to be a 4-H member. As expected, my children enrolled the minute they were eligible, and I began my active volunteering with 4-H.


Our family began by helping with the simple projects that my kids were tasked with. We started off showing rabbits as a family. We raised the rabbits on our own land and this was a challenging and rewarding task for all of us to be involved with. After a fun first year, the opportunity to become the group leader for the Rockford Rebels presented itself. I immediately volunteered and have been the club leader for the last eight years.

 

I also spent one year as the Franklin County 4-H Council President. As a group leader, I've been able to get involved in the projects that the 4-H members are tasked with. These projects go far beyond agriculture and push the kids to go out of their comfort zone and try something new. I believe, this is one of the most important skills to teach younger generations because it prepares them for trying new things and learning how to keep trying even if they failed the first time. Some examples of these projects are shotgun, shooting sports safety, sports fishing and then more traditional projects like raising goats and rabbits.


One of my favorite memories of being involved in 4-H includes my daughter and surprisingly, math. It was achievement night at our club and members were tasked with giving an extemporaneous speech in front of the rest of the group. My daughter is extremely introverted, so I knew that this would be a difficult project for her.

 

The speech topic was chosen for the member randomly and they had to speak to a panel of judges about the topic they were assigned. As most moms would be, I was nervous for my daughter as she got on stage to give her speech. I watched as she got on stage, looked the judges straight in the eye and give a passionate speech about her love for math. I was blown away by her confidence and ability to speak eloquently about a topic she enjoyed. At the end of the speech, the judges provided feedback to each individual member.

 

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Marcie’s son showing goats at the fair

 

I was so proud of her ability to take feedback constructively and use it to become a better public speaker. This particular project helped my daughter overcome her fears and taught her skills that she will use for the rest of her life.


I'm incredibly proud to be part of an organization that encourages children to explore their interests and gives them the tools to overcome their fears on their own. 4-H provides children with a real-world attitude that prepares them for the future. I'm glad that Bayer is such a big supporter of 4-H at a national level and is encouraging a curiosity for learning. I'm excited to see the future opportunities that Bayer and 4-H can provide the next generation.

 

By Marcie Rucker

Service Integration Lead & IT Director for Bayer Crop Science