IMG_3572 cropMy name is Jackie Penner.    I grew up in Santa Clara County wanting to live on a farm and raise livestock.  Living in the heart of Silicon Valley, miles from a rural area, made my dream seem impossible to achieve.  Until, one day my Aunt told me about her neighbor that had a pig and was part of an organization called 4-H. Through a google search I found out that youth can learn about livestock in 4-H and there was a 4-H community ranch very close to my home. I signed up immediately and started learning about livestock.

I have been in 4-H for seven years now.  4-H gave me the opportunity to participate in club, county, section, state, national and international events.  4-H helped me find my voice, my confidence and become a better communicator.  When I first joined 4-H, I was very shy and quiet.    I grew up with speech and language challenges, which made it difficult for me to talk with people that I didn’t know. To accomplish my goals in 4-H, I had to do a lot of public speaking, so this pushed me to break away from my inner fears and build confidence.  Now I am not afraid to talk with people and I feel more confident.   I have also learned many life skills like leadership hard work and goal management.

Today, I am a California 4-H State Ambassador and the Youth Chair for the California 4-H State Animal Science Education Advisory Committee. At our 4-H community ranch I learned that kidding season is serious business, but it can also be very rewarding.  I enjoy helping to deliver kids and seeing the miracles of life be born.  I hope to continue my journey that started as a dream of raising livestock and pursue a degree in nursing at Washington State University.  One day I want to have a small farm and become a pediatric or delivery nurse.

This year I was selected to raise the Heritage Hog and receive a scholarship from The Clover Foundation, which I am really excited about!  Having the opportunity to raise the Heritage Hog is an honor, because the Clover Foundation has done so much for the youth our county.

The Clover Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the development and growth of youth in the Santa Clara County. The foundation provides college scholarships, provides no interest loans to help youth purchase market animals, and donates funds to help keep The Santa Clara County Fair and agriculture alive in our community.

The Heritage Hog, Lilly, will be auctioned off at the Santa Clara county fair on Saturday, August 6th at 10am.  I would like to invite you to attend the auction and buy this fabulous pig for a really good cause.  I am raising the hog in a healthy and nurturing environment, which includes a lot of cuddles.   I hope to see you at the auction.  If you have any questions or if you are interested in the Heritage Hog, come see me.  Thank you for supporting the Clover Foundation by attending the Gala.hh-display-2016