John Garr, a Purdue University graduate, farmer, and founder of GarrCo Products, is proud alum of Indiana 4‑H. Reflecting on his experiences, he believes the 4‑H Junior Leaders program provides some of the best life opportunity lessons for young people.
Growing up on his family farm in Howard County, John first became involved with Indiana 4‑H through the “Jackson Future Farmers 4‑H Club,” with Don Winger as the leader. Little did he know that his journey with 4‑H would profoundly impact his life. When the Howard County Extension group offered him the chance to attend the State 4‑H Junior Leader Conference, he accepted.
The State 4‑H Junior Leader Conference changed John’s life and opened his eyes to the endless possibilities and opportunities that existed in the world. It instilled in him a broad and diverse thought process, shaping the person he is today. The experience also gave him the confidence to start his own business and, most importantly, lifelong friends who have remained a cherished part of his life.
John is deeply grateful for the lessons and friendships he gained from the Junior Leaders program. He expresses his gratitude by contributing to the Indiana 4‑H Foundation, particularly to the State 4‑H Junior Leader Conference and Council, of which he was a member in 1976. He hopes his contributions can help other young people have similar experiences and benefit from the program as much as he did.
In urging other 4‑H alums and supporters to consider making gifts to the Indiana 4‑H Foundation, John believes it can make a big difference in the lives of young adults. He continues to keep in touch with Council members he served with in 1976, and he holds Chuck Gosney and Mary Francis Smith, who were the Junior Leader State Advisors at that time, in high regard for the significant impact they had on his life. John considers himself fortunate to have known such extraordinary individuals and remains a staunch advocate for the Indiana 4‑H program.