Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alum. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we are featuring Joe Batchelor, 4-H alum from Coshocton County.
Joe got his start in 4-H in third grade because he was interested in the public speaking program after watching his father judge that contest at the fair each year. In addition to public speaking, Joe took projects such as cooking and laundry.
His 4-H world expanded when he went to 4-H Camp Ohio. Joe still remembers his experiences at 4-H camp as a fourth grader. He didn’t know anyone outside of the city, and it opened his eyes to brand new opportunities. After going to camp every year it was offered, Joe went back to camp to serve as a counselor for four years as well. He met a lot of new people throughout his time at camp, and he is still friends with many of them today.
Because Joe lived within the city limits of Coshocton, he was not familiar with livestock until his friends from camp introduced him to hog projects. After finally convincing his parents to let him give it a try, Joe took hogs to the fair for his final three years of high school. Joe said, “I transitioned from completely avoiding the livestock barns at the fair to actually raising and showing animals thanks to the friends I made at 4-H Camp Ohio. I was even selected as the Fair King at the Coshocton County Fair in 2014!”
When asked about advice for current 4-H members, Joe suggested 4-H members try as many new things as possible, meet as many new people as you can, and do not miss out on public speaking opportunities. “Being able to try new experiences impacted me as an adult. Because I was able to obtain my Master Speaker Award, I now have the confidence to speak in front of other people, which is critical in any career.” Joe graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018, and currently works as the Personal Aide to Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. He is thankful for all the 4-H experiences that prepared him for this role.