Posted on April 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM by Global Reach
Janet Ritchie is a 4-H volunteer in the true sense of the word. Her career as a 4-H volunteer started in 1967 when asked to help with the Dalcher Go Getters 4-H Club. In the fall of 1967 Janet and her husband moved , but when they returned Janet decided to go back to the Dalcher Go Getters 4-H Club. Later she was given the opportunity to be the assistant leader of the Peppi Pals 4-H Club which she accepted and spent several years with the club. Along with being a club leader Janet also took on being the county Visual Arts project leader. She was instrumental in having workshops for the 4-H members to build interest in the project area.
In 1978 when her daughter was old enough to join 4-H, Janet took it upon herself to start a club for all the neighborhood girls. The name was Country Gals later changed to Country Guys & Gals and eventually changed to County Crusaders. She has been leader of this 4-H club for 32 years. Janet has never had to recruit members and never turns anyone away. One of her biggest goals is for the club members to treat each other with respect and consideration. The new members are always told, “We will never laugh at you to hurt your feelings, but will laugh with you if you goof.” Some of the current club members are second generation club members and now she is proud her oldest grandson is a member, with the next grandson waiting to join.
In addition to being a leader Janet has served in many other ways to support the 4-H program and spirit. When there was no interest for the goats and rabbits to have large ribbons and trophies, she recruited donations and ordered them herself. She continues to recruit donations for the rabbit project members. She also dedicates her time on the day of the rabbit show to helping in many ways such as doing paper work, organizing ribbons and trophies, answering questions, and being a huge supporter of all of the members participating.
At the present time Janet is serving on the 4-H & Youth Committee. For her it is very rewarding to learn the different aspects of 4-H and volunteering in other ways along with being a leader. In 1999 Janet received the Marion County Honorary 4-H member award, in honor of her support of the 4-H program and for keeping the 4-H spirit alive. Her husband introduced her to the 4-H program as he was a 4-H member for seven years,.
Currently Janet has volunteered for the Marion County 4-H program for 42 years. During her many years of volunteering Janet has encouraged countless members to do their best and enjoy what they are doing. There is no doubt that she has touched everyone around her and the community. Janet feels the biggest reward of being a 4-H leader all these years is seeing the beginning members turn into the outstanding adults they are today!!