Amy David applies positive 4-H experiences to all aspects of life
Pinedale – Eighteen-year-old Amy David’s 10-year 4-H career has included almost every project but sewing and shooting sports.
“I started out showing pigs and sheep, then my sister got into showing market goats and I tried that too. After a few market steer projects I got tired of them pushing me around so I purchased a couple miniature cows and started my own breeding herd,” explains David of her animals projects. Today she maintains her miniature herd and has sold some of her animals to first-year 4-H members for beef projects.
“Showing pigs was probably my favorite animal project. In 2001 I won both the junior hog and junior sheep showmanship and market classes and was the champion in both of those classes and species for the next three years. Showmanship is really fun because it allows you to show off all your hard work from the entire summer during fair,” comments David.
Outside the show ring David is active in Junior Leaders and was a member of the state 4-H Leadership Team in 2008. “I really enjoy doing workshops for younger kids. As a member of the state 4-H Leadership Team I presented workshops across the state on communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Last year I started a modeling workshop for the girls in the fashion review in Sublette County. There were three workshops over the course of the summer and it was really fun. I enjoyed it a lot and was pleased with how it turned out. That is something I am doing again this year,” she says.
David’s modeling and stage experience is the result of running for and winning Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2009. She says the characteristics she was taught through 4-H really helped her in obtaining the title. “I know those characteristics will continue to help me in going after many of my life goals even after I finish 4-H,” she adds.
This fall David plans to attend Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah and double major in communications and psychology.
“My passion is skiing and my biggest goal is to compete in the Winter Olympics as a member of the U.S. ski team. I was a member of our high school ski team all four years and as a senior won the girl’s all-state champion. I have also competed in the U.S. freestyle events for aerials. My big goal while in college starting this coming year is to get into some bigger competitions nationally and internationally,” says David. “The best trick I have now is a back flip and I’m trying to learn a back flip 360 where I spin 360 degrees while doing a back flip. I would also like to try skier cross, which is like motocross but on skis. It combines speed and jumps.”
David is also a National Science Fair competitor and was a host on the Discovery Channel’s Young Scientist Challenge. “It would be fun to travel and experience things through a show while also educating people. My mom is a science teacher and that lead to my interest. Last year I did a project that measured the impact of the brain against the skull during ski jumping,” she explains.
David credits her 4-H experiences for setting her up for future success. “I think 4-H really prepares kids for anything in life. The responsibilities you have, especially caring for animals, really prepares you. I think animals can teach us a lot – I know I learned a lot caring for my animals.
“Presentations are another thing that has been very beneficial to me. They are required in our county each year and through those I learned not to be shy around my peers and to be professional, competent and well spoken in a tense environment. It really helped me break some barriers and prepared me for everything I will face later in life,” she says.
Both of David’s parents are 4-H leaders and her father is a feed nutritionist. She comments his profession really helped with feeding livestock projects. She says her parents were very helpful and always provided both their daughters with personal drive without pressuring projects on them.
“They played a huge role in supporting us, but if we didn’t want to show livestock that wasn’t a problem. Both my sister and I just loved it so much and it became a whole family affair. Some families will walk their dogs together. With our family it was all of us sprinting our sheep projects down the road. I have so many funny memories like that,” says David.
This year David isn’t showing any livestock projects due to a leadership program for which she’s a coach called LEAP (Leadership Excellence Accelerating Potential) that is the same week as county fair. Held at the UCLA campus in California, LEAP is designed to teach high school and college kids skills to succeed in life – a topic David is prepared to coach thanks in large part to her decade-long 4-H experience.
“The 4-H motto is to make the best better, and I’ve taken that to heart in everything I do in life. I’ve always tried to be the best I could be since I was a young pre-4-Her,” says David.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.