Engineering a successful future

Engineering a successful future
How Jeff Sweeney got his start in 4-H
Jeff Sweeney

Growing up in Fairfield County, Ohio, Jeff Sweeney’s summers were devoted to 4-H. “I took as many projects and attended as many camps as I could. My mom even put a limit on the number of projects I could take in a year! Eight ended up being the magic number, but I still pushed that limit,” said Sweeney. “I also took advantage of every camp and leadership opportunity my county offered. I attended forestry camp, participated in leadership seminars and junior fair board, attended National 4-H Congress, and even joined the county square dancing club,” said Sweeney. 

Sweeney went on to obtain his bachelor’s in agricultural engineering from Ohio State: “I began my career doing design work, but over the years this has evolved. Now, I am a consultant for GoEngineer, working with engineering design software, databases, and computer networks.” 

Project judging proved to be one of the most important skills he learned in 4-H: “So many people in my field find it difficult to look someone in the eye and effectively communicate with them. It is important to share your thoughts with others, and project judging helped me learn this from a young age.” 

“It’s also important to be flexible and have a wide base of knowledge,” he said. “Ohio 4-H provides so many opportunities. I encourage youth to take a variety of projects and get involved in many different activities.”