Robert Miller did more than just join the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program, and he is confident that getting actively involved will make a lifelong difference.

Robert Miller posing for a headshot photo. He is wearing a green stripped tie with a white dress shirt and a brown jacket.
Robert Miller, a Texas 4-H member from Milam County, knows he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program. (Courtesy photo)

Miller, from Milam County, recently participated in the National 4-H Consumer Decision-making contest. He was introduced to Texas 4-H and the consumer contest by his older sister, who helped him get involved as a Clover Kid.

He said that not only did those early skills help him on the path to the national competition, but he also used what he has learned to make impactful decisions in his life and that of his family.

Clover kid to leader 

While the age requirement to become a Texas 4-H member is 8 years old or in the third grade, Miller started early as a Clover Kid with his local club. Clover Kids can participate in a Texas 4-H program from kindergarten through second grade.

“I followed my sister to every club meeting, event or contest she had,” Miller said. “I thought everything she did was interesting and that sparked my interest in Texas 4-H. When it became my turn, I was so excited to do the same events she did.”

Following his sister’s footsteps, he participated in multiple contests, including public speaking and consumer decision-making.

“Without these contests, I wouldn’t be this outspoken,” Miller said. “Giving reasons to a panel of judges and participating in public speaking taught me how to speak on subjects I feel strongly about and know about.”

Creating success 

Miller joined the Milam County Consumer Decision-Making team as early as he could. He learned how to study products, determine what criteria they should meet and how to compare similar products to obtain a suitable price within a budget.

“I’ve been on a consumer decision-making team since I was 8,” Miller said. “My sister and I would spend hours studying together and practicing with our 4-H leader, giving reasons back and forth for different consumer scenarios.”

A young woman and three young me pose while holding the ribbons they won at the National 4-H Consumer Decision-making contest.
Robert miller, far right, and his team members at the National 4-H Consumer Decision-making contest in San Antonio. (Courtesy photo)

The many hours and years he spent practicing consumer decision-making led to one moment at this year’s national contest in San Antonio.

“My team and I were proud to represent our home state,” Miller said. “We were first place in judging and second place in presenting reasons, but we weren’t as prepared for the group-think category, which led to us receiving third place in the nation.”

Decision-making in the real world 

“Without being a part of this team, I never would’ve learned small skills like how to research about what I’m purchasing to find the most cost-effective products, no matter the necessity,” Miller said.

He put his consumer decision-making skills to the test in real life when a family member needed help comparing air conditioning units.

“My grandmother’s air conditioning unit went out a few months back,” Miller said. “Because of my skills, I could take the professional’s recommendations and decide which unit would fit her needs at the lowest price possible.”

Other involvement with Texas 4-H 

Miller has also served in numerous leadership roles within his local 4-H club and as vice chairman for District 8, where her served members in numerous counties.

While serving in these positions, one of his favorite annual projects was creating a food drive for people in his community.

“I’ve helped with this project since my Clover Kid years,” Miller said. “This is my favorite service project because we help the less fortunate during the holidays.”

Miller also served in the Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program that teaches how water is collected, conveyed, treated, conserved and managed to meet economic needs.

“As water ambassadors, we take trips each year to learn about water conservation and test what we’ve learned,” Miller said. “I’ve made lifelong friendships and connections.”

Life after Texas 4-H 

Miller plans to use the skills he learned through Texas 4-H to create opportunities while studying at the University of Texas. He said that without the program, the friendships he gained and the skills he learned, he would be half the person he is today.

“I would tell a new Texas 4-H member to get involved with the program as soon as possible,” Miller said. “Texas 4-H has so much to offer and when you are actively engaged, the experiences you gain can be life-changing.”


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