Rachel Mitchell Joins Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame at 2021 Oklahoma 4-H RoundupWed, 04 Aug 2021 04:44:31 CDT
Induction into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame is the highest honor a 4-H'er can achieve on the state level. Being inducted during the 100th State 4-H Roundup makes it more exciting.
To make it even better, Rachel Mitchell is the first State 4-H Hall of Fame inductee from Tillman County creating a trifecta of sorts at the centennial celebration of Oklahoma's biggest 4-H event July 28-30 on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
"It makes me feel very proud that I can represent Tillman County in this way," Mitchell said. "I'm proud to be a role model for kids."
An active 4-H'er for nine years, Mitchell said her 4-H career began in fourth grade as a little girl who just wanted to fit in - looking up to the big kids in her club. Today, her role has changed and she's the one teaching others about the positive impact 4-H can have on youth.
When she joined the Frederick 4-H Club, she said there weren't a lot of club members. One of her main projects has been to increase the membership in Tillman County. She said one way she's helped do that is just by being more visible.
"I talked to my friends about 4-H and we started doing community service projects. We'd get out and work in Frederick and let people see what we were doing and help them learn what 4-H is all about," she said. "Our membership has really increased over the years."
Mitchell learned early in her 4-H career that she loved to help people, so being involved in community service projects was a natural fit. She can be found lending a hand at local events and attending workshops or meetings that involve helping her town of Frederick. She has been instrumental in organizing local club members to help with the Adopt-the-Block project, as well as helping clean up around the local museum.
"The more people who get involved in 4-H help leads to more involved citizens, better leaders and people who will give back to their communities," she said.
It was through the childcare project area that Mitchell became involved with Special Clovers Camp where she served as a Clover Buddy for two years. Special Clovers Camp is a camp for 4-H members with special needs. Through her experiences as a Clover Buddy, she said she has learned more about children with special needs and developed more patience. This also is where the idea of becoming a state officer was born.
"I was able to meet some of the state and district officers, and they talked to me about how much more 4-H had to offer outside of my county," she said.
She has since served as the southern West District vice president. She just completed a year as a West District representative on the state leadership council. She also has served as the West District photographer, as well as county vice president.
She has demonstrated her leadership and public speaking skills by leading a variety of workshops and presentations. She also has served as a delegate to Citizenship Washington Focus, a leadership development opportunity in Washington, D.C.
"I loved going on the CWF trip. It's one of my favorite memories of 4-H," Mitchell said. "It was on this trip that I met people from across the whole nation. I was able to see different parts of the county and learn more about the culture of America."
Arron Henson, OSU Extension educator in Tillman County, said Mitchell is the ideal club member.
"She's the kind of kid every educator wants. She's always willing to help with workshops, community service events or any other activities," Henson said. "She even helps me decorate the Christmas tree at the county courthouse every year."
He said many of the Tillman County 4-H'ers have had great success in the show ring, and Mitchell being inducted into the Hall of Fame is as exciting as kids winning at the Oklahoma Youth Expo.
"It's very exciting as her educator to see her be the first Tillman County 4-H'er to receive this honor," he said.
She is a 2021 graduate of Frederick High School and will be attending Southwestern Oklahoma State University this fall to study elementary education.
When she becomes a teacher, she plans to teach the Ag in the Classroom curriculum to her students to help them understand the importance of agriculture in Oklahoma. Teaching also will give her a chance to help younger children learn about all the great things the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program has to offer.
"The 4-H program has taught me so many things that I wouldn't have learned somewhere else. It has taught me the meaning of a good handshake, learning how to get out of my comfort zone and be more outgoing," she said. "It has helped me find the things that I'm most passionate about while striving to meet my goals."
She is the daughter of Brian and Kayla Mitchell. Oklahoma Ag Credit sponsors a $5,000 scholarship for Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame inductees.
Picture above - Tillman County 4-H'er Rachel Mitchell was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame during the 100th State 4-H Roundup. She is the first 4-H'er from Tillman County to achieve this prestigious award. She is pictured with her family, from left, Megan Mitchell, Rachel Mitchell, Kayla Mitchell and Brian Mitchell. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)
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