Matt and Amy (Sarah) Wright
We finished our 10 year 4-H careers in 1998 (Amy) and 1999 (Matt). The fair of 1998 found the two of us as Mr. and Miss Henry County for the week. We had been in Jr. Leaders together up to this point but being from different schools and parts of the county, we had not really known each other. As many know the rest of the story, that week together has lead to 20 years together, Amy transferring to Purdue in 2000 and 16 1/2 years of marriage. Oh yeah, two boys and a move to West Lafayette, IN in 2012. To say 4-H changed our lives is an understatement!
As 4-H members, I don't think either of us were aware of the impact 4-H would have on our lives. Both of us did everything from showing livestock, numerous board projects, crops, Jr. Leaders and Amy even went to State Fair School and still connects with a couple friends today. Countless hours working with animals, putting together projects and spending time with friends at club meetings and the fair. 4-H taught us both discipline, time management, how to meet new people and most important, responsibility.
After 4-H, I attended Purdue University on a full ride 4-H scholarship I won in the summer of 1998. That scholarship was reward for years of 4-H accomplishments and attending Purdue. Amy started at Butler University in 1998 and moved to Purdue mid year 2000. Amy earned a degree in Dietetics in December 2001 and furthered her education with her Registered Dietitian credentials in 2004. I graduated in the spring of 2002 with a degree with honors in Agricultural Systems Management.
Today we live in West Lafayette, just a couple minutes from Purdue. Jake is 12 and in 7th grade, Mason is soon to be 8 and in 2nd grade. Both boys are active in 4-H and Jake has really enjoyed the Tippecanoe Fair the last couple years. He will soon have his chance at Jr. Leaders! I have been fortunate to judge projects the last three years at neighboring fairs and help pass on a little 4-H to others. I also am a project leader for Tippecanoe County 4-H Sport Fishing, teaching youth the basics of fishing and allowing them to fish some lakes in our area. Amy stays involved with the boy's club in West Lafayette, volunteering and helping at the fair when we can.
Amy works at Purdue University as a Research Dietitian in Nutrition Research. I was involved in agriculture up to the spring of 2017 and now preparing to open the first Edward Jones Investments office in Flora, IN in the next year.
Both of us are forever in debt to a truly great youth organization for what it has taught us and for the education it provided for me at Purdue University. Since that summer of 1998, we have not missed an Indiana State Fair and make it a point to browse through 4-H projects each year! 4-H is about so much more than being a farm kid or showing livestock. Today's projects are adapted to any youth living anywhere. All providing life skills and opportunities at friendships they will never forget. Needless to say, I will not forget one of mine ;-)!
*Written by Matt Wright, September 2017