Posted on April 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM by Global Reach
Claudia Putnam had already been a 4-H mom for several years before she decided to become a club leader in 1998 and the Muscatine County 4-H program hasn’t been the same since. Her accomplishments over the last 12 years are enough to make winded the most in shape runner. Her accomplishments include:
· Graduating all three of her children out of 4-H
· Initiated the 4-H Art Show at the Muscatine Art Center in 2000, which continues on today. 4-H’ers may enter their fair exhibits to be put on display at the Art Center during October for National 4-H Week.
· Poultry superintendent at the fair for 12 years. Claudia has also taught poultry at an area livestock workshop for a couple years, serves as a poultry judge at neighboring county fairs, and has mentored a former 4-H member to becoming a poultry judge. She also has initiated a broiler derby and turkey derby for youth to participate in.
· Believing youth need to learn more about their animals than how to show them at the fair, Claudia started a sheep production class three years ago. Under her guidance, beginning in January youth attend a monthly class to learn about financing their sheep project, what qualities to look for in selecting their animals, different breeds of sheep, proper feeding, purchasing lambs from a sale barn, tagging, worming, shearing, and lots of hands on learning. The 4-H’ers purchase their lambs and take care of them until the fair. If the 4-H’er lives in town, she allows them to keep their lambs at her place and makes sure they take care of their animals. At the fair, the 4-H’ers turn in their sheep production report, interview with a judge and the lambs are evaluated on their care and rate of gain. Winners are announced at a potluck in September after the lambs are sold.
· Claudia agreed to appear on a local access cable show on adult role models to encourage adults and youth to become involved with 4-H.
· Claudia is an encourager. She pushes youth to achieve beyond their expectations by encouraging them to apply for awards, scholarships, and plan projects and activities to increase their leadership skills. She advocates for them every chance she can, her favorite comment to her club members being, “You can do this”. She helps youth think out of the box in coming up with exhibit ideas.
· Because of her encouraging attitude, inclusive demeanor, and enthusiasm for youth, her club membership has increased three fold in the last 2-3 years when she became organizational leader.