Ohio 4-H alumni are part of a rich history of the program. They have great stories to share about their personal and professional lives, and the ways they give back to their community. Each month, we highlight one of these exceptional people in “Faces of Ohio 4-H.” In a special double feature, this month we feature Dan and Tammy Joseph.
Tammy was a 10-year 4-H member in Knox County. Her favorite projects were the Bicentennial dress she created in 1976, along with International Cooking and the Preserve and Serve project. A special memory was a 4-H trip to Washington, D.C., where she met Ohio Sen. John Glenn. She also fondly remembers her years at 4-H Camp Ohio and the opportunity to serve as a counselor.
Dan was a nine-year 4-H member, also from Knox County. He spent his years taking livestock projects, including hogs, sheep, and cattle. His favorite memory was meeting his future wife at the Knox County Fair!
Dan credits much of his success as a youth to the others in his club. “As a younger 4-H’er, I looked up to the older members. As an older member, I helped younger members with their projects.”
What Dan learned as a 4-H member has stayed with him. “4-H taught me the love of raising livestock, which I continue today with a farm where we raise both cattle and sheep.” And those leadership skills learned in club meetings were just as important. “My first role in leading an organization was as the president of my 4-H club.” Since then Dan has served as the president of several commodity groups, as a Harrison Township trustee, and as Knox County Farm Bureau president. He now works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service.
Tammy knows that many of her career skills were also developed during her years as a 4-H member. “4-H skills and relationships led me to the art of nursing. Today, as an advanced practice registered nurse in family practice, I still focus on relationships, shared interests, and personal background to gain the trust and respect of my clients.”
She believes the program gave her the confidence to speak in front of others, by doing the research, being knowledgeable about a topic, and then presenting with confidence.
Dan and Tammy gave back to 4-H by serving as advisors in Knox County for 13 years. They watched their children grow up in 4-H, and some of their best memories are those they made as a family. “As an advisor, my most exciting moments were when my son won showman of showmen in the hog competition and my daughter became the sheep industry queen. Our youngest daughter was busy with animal projects taking swine, sheep, and feeder steers to the county fair. I’m proud that all three were 4-H members throughout their school years.”
One of the Joseph’s favorite statewide events is the Celebration of Youth, an event they attend as a way to give back to 4-H youth throughout Ohio.
Tammy and Dan really did get their start in 4-H, and will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this month! 4-H made a lasting impact on them, and Tammy shares this advice to 4-H youth: “Do all you can, and develop friends and relationships you will have all your life. Take many projects, especially ones you may not initially be interested in, because someday it might rekindle a new hobby.”