- Author: Jesenia Mendoza
Her history with 4-h started at the age of 9 at Bennett valley 4-H, as a child she fell in love with goats. Her parents, both 4-H volunteers, and members themselves as children, it is a family passion. “I started with Beef and dairy cows, but then I went to Redwood Hill and saw the baby goats.” That was it, she was hooked. “I went to 5 fairs a year minimum!” she truly enjoys raising goats. “As a child, I was way more reserved, 4-H helped me come out of my shell understand who I was and how I should project myself to the world.” Now she wants to provide that same service to children today. She has been a Dairy Goat leader for Green Valley 4-H for the last 4 years. She is a dedicated leader, “sometimes I will have a child call me to ask me goat questions, sometimes it's an easy question, sometimes I will need to go check out their goat.” The best part of being a goat leader is helping the kids reach their full potential. At one of her last fairs she remembers a young boy, who didn't believe in himself, he continued to say that showing was not his strength. Rebecca saw the potential in him, told him “you can do it, you can do great!” The member went into the show-ring with his goat and he won! He came running back to Rebecca with excitement and said, “I did it!” with a renewed confidence in his showmanship abilities. With Rebecca's help and enthusiasm he could be successful. The best part for Rebecca was seeing that he believed in himself and could do it.
As she prepares others to be great goat leaders, one of the leaders that helped her be successful was and still is Lisa Jack. One of her memories she was with Lisa is being at a fair and Lisa saw the way Rebecca was cleaning the goat's feet with a tooth brush, Lisa said, “that's going to take forever, here try this (a larger sponge)” she realized how much easier it was to clean goat's feet after that, “a life changing moment!” Lisa is encouraging and supportive which Rebecca strives to embody as well.
When she is not helping in 4-H she is taking care of her own goats, she has about 40. She enjoys reading, watching movies and baking. “I am a baker,” she said, if you have been in Rebecca's projects you probably have had one of her “mean cupcakes,” as she puts it. Rebecca is a recent graduate of Sonoma State University with a degree in anthropology. Although, her passion lies in helping children realize their potential. With her degree, she hopes to become a teacher.
Her hope is to lead the next generation of agriculturist. We think she is doing a fantastic job!
Rebecca, we sincerely thank you for your dedication and energy with 4-h. You are an amazing volunteer. We are very lucky to have you in our community. Thanks for helping 4-H members find their potential.