4-H Alumni & Supporters

Meet our SC 4-H Alumni

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Mariah Swygert, Lexington and Saluda Counties 4-H Alumna

2018-2019 South Carolina State FFA Secretary

Mariah Swygert, a Leesville, South Carolina native, began participating in 4-H at age 14 with bucket calf, pullet, and swine projects. Swygert grew up on her family’s small farm raising steers, chickens, and barrows for many years. 4-H allowed her to begin independently raising livestock and recognize the importance of accurate record keeping.
 
4-H provides a safe place for children and teenagers to become involved in a specific area of agriculture whilst improving themselves and gaining various life and work skills, such as leadership and public speaking. Swygert said, “4-H is [also] a family that stretches across county and state lines to provide children and teens with opportunities they may not have even considered.” The 4-H motto is “to make the best better” and Mariah makes a point to emphasize this. She is relentlessly trying to better herself in a skill or project she undertakes because there is always room to advance.
 
“4-H has shown me the state and national networks that are available to agriculturalists who want to be involved with others who want to learn more and advocate for the industry,” Swygert said. She believes the Clemson Cooperative Extension Agents who organized the events and worked with students had the most positive impact on her experience. These agents pledge their careers to 4-Hers in order to help others improve themselves and increase their awareness of agriculture. “The advice I would give to 4-Hers and volunteers is to find your niche within the organization and do not feel compelled to do every project or event available but do find your passion and enjoy every minute because it will be over before you know it.”
 
Mariah is presently a sophomore at Clemson University where she is studying Agricultural Education and 2018-2019 State FFA Secretary. She chose this major because she discovered her love of agriculture and teaching others at an early age. Joining 4-H allowed Mariah to understand how fundamental it is to stay informed on changing laws and innovative technology and information. Mariah also teens to know they can be involved in both 4-H and FFA with no remorse because both organizations have the sole purpose of sanctioning growth in knowledge, abilities, and character.

Written by: Rachel Rebecca DuRant, Clemson University Graduate Student


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Grow True Leaders

In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. The Grow True Leaders Campaign will engage young people and rally the nation to provide more youth with hands-on experiences so they grow into true leaders. Help us grow true leaders by becoming a 4-H volunteer today and help create life-changing experience for youth in your community! Find the 4-H program nearest you by contacting your local Clemson Extension Office. You can call, email, or visit your local 4-H office to learn how to make an impact in your community. Contact Dr. Ashley Burns (taberp@clemson.edu), South Carolina 4-H Volunteer Coordinator, to be added to receive our We CU Volunteer email newsletter for monthly volunteer 4-H program highlights, articles, and activities for you to try.