Posted on August 22, 2022 at 12:17 PM by Cade Cameron
Eugene and Esther McAlexander became involved in 4-H with a gentle nudge of a family member stating they should get their kids involved in showing animals at the fair. Shortly after Eugene was asked to become the leader of the Beacon Bombers with the promise that it would only be for a few years. 30 plus years later Eugene was still serving as a leader. Unfortunately, when the number of youth in the area dwindled the Beacon Bombers had to come to an end and the McAlexanders stepped down as volunteers.
Eugene and Esther McAlexander got their start in 4-H after receiving a nudge from a family member to get their kids involved in showing animals at the county fair and then a twisting of Eugene’s arm to become 4-H club leader with the promise of it only being for a few years. As the club leader of the Beacon Bombers 4-H club for more than 30 years, Eugene treated everyone equally and had an uncanny ability to engage all youth (the young members to the older ones, the quiet youth to the rowdy ones) to get involved in learning constructively. While Eugene was in the forefront most time, Esther was behind the scenes being the club’s biggest supporter from typing anything that needed to be typed, calling families with reminders, helping organize events and making sure that all the paperwork got done for everyone in the club by deadlines.
This was only the beginning of the McAlexander family’s involvement in 4-H - the seven McAlexander children were members, several of them became volunteers and/or Extension staff too; all nineteen grandkids were members, with several of them being on State 4-H Council; and Eugene and Esther continued on as supportive grandparents, making the rounds to county and state fairs in Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota for many years to look at exhibits, watch livestock shows, and be involved in communication events. Ringgold County 4-H considers it an honor to know that the McAlexander family’s 4-H involvement is rooted within us.