4-H forms a thread

Three family generations are represented in the photograph. In a barn with projects for the Clinton County Fair are, front row from left, brothers Devon, Jaden and Mason Snyder and their paternal grandmother Marsha Snyder; and back row from left, the boys’ parents Donna Jo and Brady Snyder.

In the foreground at a show ring are, from left, 9-year-old identical twin brothers Devon and Jaden Snyder at the 2014 Clinton County Fair.

Brady Snyder — the father pictured with his family in the main Page 1 photo — was involved in 4-H and the county fair when he was a youth.

UNION TOWNSHIP — Married with three children, Brady and Donna Jo Snyder met at Camp Clifton, where they were 4-H camp counselors.

Today, their three sons keep up the 4-H tradition, which goes back at least four generations on both their father’s and mother’s sides.

Brady farms the Wilson Corner Farm near Wilmington, a 640-acre family farm operation that produces soybeans, corn and freezer beef. Donna Jo is a physical therapist, and serves on the sheep committee. In 1993, she won the Tony Grapevine Memorial Showmanship Sweepstakes, one of the signature events at the Clinton County Fair.

To say the least, Brady and Donna Jo Snyder’s sons, Mason, 13, and identical twins, Devon and Jaden, 10, are heirs of a strong history in 4-H.

Their paternal great-grandfather, Robert Snyder, was a 4-H advisor. Their maternal great-grandparents were in a county 4-H band.

Their paternal grandparents, Tom and Marsha Snyder, took part as youths in 4-H. Tom, who died in 2007, was a 4-H advisor for the Pork Pride 4-H Club for a dozen years.

The boys’ maternal grandparents, Don and Jo Anne Hartman Lindsey, were 4-H advisors for 25 years, 20 of them in Butler County and five years in Clinton County.

As a young person, Don showed beef projects, and later worked in the fields of livestock feed sales and farm credit. Jo Anne grew up near Lees Creek in Clinton County. She was a member of the Wayne Winners 4-H Club and played in the county 4-H band which, she told the News Journal, was directed by Vic Tooker, a local musician of note.

Jo Anne said she decided to seek a career in home economics education and Extension, and after graduating from The Ohio State University, she became the home economics Extension agent in Brown County.

“4-H is definitely a great family experience that carries from one generation to another,” Jo Anne said.

She added that she, her husband Don as well as Marsha Snyder — the three boys’ grandparents — take great pleasure “to watch their adult children teaching their grandchildren through these 4-H project experiences. The boys are learning good work ethics, responsibilities and many more personal character qualities through 4-H.”

Jo Anne’s daughter Donna Jo spent 10 years in 4-H, most of them after moving in the mid-1980s to Clinton County. Her projects included a variety of home economics and livestock projects such as rabbits, lambs and beef.

Donna Jo’s oldest son, Mason, said, ““To me it’s [4-H] really fun, a really great experience.” And 10-year-old son, Jaden, said he likes the dodge ball activity held in the hog barn and playing other games at the fair.

Mason and his identical twin brothers have first cousins in 4-H. Their dad’s brother and sister-in-law, Damian and Kim Snyder, have three daughters, Raegan, Brynne and Kari, involved in the youth programming.

The family tradition shows no sign of stopping.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.