National 4-H Week Draws to a Close
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – As National 4-H Week draws to a close, local 4-H chapters presented awards to several of their members.
According to Tasha Brent, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent “In recognition of National 4-H Week we would like to feature our 2019-2020 Houston County 4-H Award Recipients. Due to COVID-19 protocols, we were unable to host our annual Awards Banquet, so please join us in celebrating the dedication, talent, and leadership of these youth who are “Making the Best Better in Houston County!”
All the award winners were asked a set of seven questions which consisted of:
- What is your name and the name of your 4-H Club?
- How long have you been involved in 4-H?
- What led you to join the 4-H organization?
- What does this award mean to you?
- What are your future 4-H plans?
- How do you feel 4-H has benefited you and how has it helped benefit the community?
- What award did you win?
The award winners from the various clubs throughout Houston County are:
Rookie of the Year – Alexia Grier
This is my first year in 4-H. I joined 4-H for high school credit, to improve my social skills, and to gain knowledge and experience in things that interest me. I am very surprised and honored that I was nominated for this award. It means a lot to me that while I was working diligently to expand my experiences someone noticed, commended, and rewarded me. This upcoming year, I plan to raise a goat and rabbits for the county fair. I also hope to participate in food show and food challenge. I believe 4-H has improved the way I work and how hard I work. It has helped me to do my best in all of my projects and to broaden my interests. I think it has improved our community by helping the new generation learn important things like agricultural study and how to work hard.
Member of the Year- Hannah Huffstuttler
I have been involved in 4-H going into my 6th year. I wanted to join 4-H so that I could enter projects into the County Fair, as well as gain experience from raising and showing livestock. Being chosen for the Club Member of the Year Award is a great honor and means a great deal to me. I was very excited when I got the news that I won and am truly grateful. I’ve have raised and shown rabbits for the past 5 years and I would like to continue showing other livestock. 4-H has benefited me by learning responsibility and leadership skills through the caring of livestock and serving our community.
Rookie of the Year – Caylee Morris
I have been involved with 4-H for four years. I love animals!! I first started out showing rabbits, and now I have 3 show calves/Beefmasters. I am truly honored to receive this award and it gives me the confidence that hard work and dedication to something does pay off. My future plans involve starting my own herd of show cattle and being able to help other kids who want to show. 4H has taught me so many things that I didn’t know before. I feel it has made me a better person. I strongly believe that 4H helps to build a better foundation for youth.
Member of the Year – Case Pennington
I have been involved with 4-H for two years. I wanted to be involved in the community and the county fair. I believe this will help my future in agriculture. I feel very honored to receive this award. It shows my dedication to my community and the hard work that I put in to be a member of 4-H and to show in the county fair. I plan to continue participating in 4-H in Houston County. When I grow up, I hope to continue my family’s farming business. I feel that being involved in 4-H, I have learned how to be a leader in the community. While taking care of my heifers and pigs, I have learned how to be responsible. These qualities will help me in my future in agriculture. I think 4-H is a great organization in the community because it teaches people things about agriculture that they may not know and it gets kids active in agriculture who might not have the opportunity to be involved.
Rookie of the Year – No Eligible rookie for 2019-2020
Member of the Year – Alyssa Hickman
I have you been involved in 4-H for four years. I joined the 4-H organization to help the community and to learn the fun educational things 4-H has offered. It was an honor to win this award and to be chosen out of many candidates. My future 4-H plans include becoming more involved in community projects, to get more kids involved in 4-H, and to become an officer. 4-H has taught me how to work in a group to help the community, by doing community service for others. I believe what we do for the community will spread the word and help people understand what 4-H is about.
Rookie of the Year – Levi Wilson
This will be my second year in 4-H. Because of COVID, I was not able to show my project at the Fair last year so I am hoping we get to show this year. I like to hunt and fish. 4-H can help me learn more about the outdoors and raising animals. My brother has been in 4-H and has done well with his Broilers so I wanted to show too so I can compete with him. I am really excited that I won an award. I want to stay in 4-H so I can meet new people and learn more. 4-H is helping to teach me responsibility. If you want to do well at the show, you have to put in the work at home. You have to get up and feed your animals even when it is cold or you don’t want to.
Member of the Year – Lane Wilson
Lane – I joined 4H when I was in 3rd grade. This will be my fifth year to be in 4-H. I have always enjoyed the outdoors. I like to hunt, raise cattle, and want to learn more about hay operations. I know 4-H can help me learn more about each of these things. Whether it be raising animals or competing in Wildlife Judging or Hay Judging, I have the opportunity to learn new things that will help me in life. I am happy that I received an award like this. I hope I can keep doing good things for my club. I want to continue to learn as much as I can in 4-H because I want to grow up and be a successful farmer and rancher. 4-H has allowed me to purchase my own herd of cattle. With my earnings from the Houston County Fair, I was able to attend a cattle auction and purchase 5 Brahman heifers. I have learned how to be responsible by raising my projects and as a result it taught me that hard work pays off. I hope that I am able to continue to grow my herd and one day it will help me pay for college. My 4-H club helps the community each year by working the Lovelady Community Christmas Dinner. We have many people that support us so this is one way we can help support our community.
Rookie of the Year- Jeremiah Morris Piney Woods 4-H Horse Club
This is my first year in 4-H. I joined because I wanted to do things like robotics. It feels good to win this award and I am very proud. 4-H has helped me learn how to train my horse and show me how to be a better citizen in the community.
Member of the Year – Chassidy Hicks Piney Woods 4-H Horse Club
I have been involved in 4-H for three years. I joined the 4-H organization because of the caring people and so I could learn about raising animals. This award mean everything. People have seen me improve and I believe in myself that I can achieve great things. My future 4-H plans include getting involved in other projects and learning more things. 4-H have taught me more skills such as taking care of animals, cooking healthy foods, and learning more with friends. It has helped benefit the community because it gives kids fun things to do.
Rookie of the Year – Hunter Coker Houston County 4-H Shooting Sports
This is my first year in shooting sports and my third year in 4h as a member of Homestead 4-H. My older siblings were involved in 4-H, and I got to see all the fun stuff they were doing and I wanted to be part of that also. To be picked as Rookie of the Year, means a lot to me. I have really enjoyed my first year of shooting. I plan to stay involved in shooting sports, I would love to become a club officer and shoot in college. 4-H has given me something to focus on outside of school. 4-H does so much for the community, teaching kids how to help others and be strong leaders.
Member of the Year – Jamie Welch Houston County 4-H Shooting Sports
I have been involved with 4-H for 11 years, total and six years with the Shotgun Club. My parents were involved in 4-H, they showed livestock. Therefore, they encouraged me to join. I did and showed goats and lambs. My cousins were members of the shotgun club and they encouraged me to join, I did. I shot competitively for 6 years across the state of Texas. I am honored that the adult coaches thought my hard work and shooting scores were deserving of this award. My involvement in 4-H has ended due to graduating from high school. I am however continuing what I gained from the program by being a member of the Texas A&M Trap and Skeet Club. 4-H has influenced me to be a better person. I have learned a great deal of responsibility through my involvement. I learned the importance of being a role model. 4-H also showed me the importance of community involvement. All attributes of 4-H will continue to mold me as I aspire to be a valuable member of society.
Riley Beaver – Homestead 4-H Club
This is my 8th year to be involved in 4-H. In the beginning, I mostly wanted to show animals in the county fair. Today, it is so much more than that for me. As this is the highest level award 4-H can give a member, I am very honored to be receiving the Gold Star. This signifies my time, commitment, dedication, and most of all, the growth that 4-H has provided me. I have big plans for the future of my remaining years in 4-H. I am currently a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador, and am wanting to continue my time as an ambassador by next applying to be accepted into the Livestock Ambassadors Advocacy Academy, which will give me the opportunity for further training and a chance to travel not only throughout the state of Texas, but possibly abroad. Next spring, I am hoping to get the chance to run for a District 5 4-H officer position. I would also like to continue showing my livestock competitively throughout the state and possibly nationally. 4-H has benefited me in terms of leadership skills, confidence, public speaking, friendships, and knowledge. As a 4-H member, we acquire the skills to educate and impact the community around us through community service projects, volunteer opportunities, and educational programs. The 4-H provides numerous pathways of educational opportunities, raising and training the future of our community; with the hope that those kids will give back to our community in their adult years.
An excerpt from the Gold Star nomination paperwork:
4-H has empowered Riley to make a difference not only in her own life, but in the lives of others. Growing up in a small farming and ranching community, she knows first had the impact Agriculture has around us. As a member of the Homestead 4-H Club in Houston County her love for the Agricultural industry has helped her grow her enthusiasm to share her knowledge with others. Using her leadership, team building, and communication skills that she has acquired through 4-H. With 7 years of experiences behind her, Riley has been able to participate in events from cooking, photography, horticulture, leadership, and livestock production, to list a few; with sheep production being above the rest. Drawing on these skills learned over these years in 4-H, she was able to meet her goal of sharing her love for this industry by becoming and training to be a State 4-H Livestock Ambassador. Riley is the daughter of Greg and Carrie Beaver of Grapeland. She is a 10th grade homeschooler who plans to pursue a career in the agriculture industry.
Trinity Meadows – Homestead 4-H Club
This is my ninth year in 4-H. My brother was in 4-H, and I wanted to show animals like him and also a number of my friends were enrolled or enrolling in 4-H. It is an honor to earn the Gold Star award in 4-H. It is nice to be appreciated for all of the hard work that I have put into the 4-H program. While I am in FFA through Crockett High School, I do plan to continue to participate in 4-H through showing livestock, leadership activities and food challenge. I hope to attend teen camp this year and help with the camp for students with disabilities following my senior year. 4-H has taught me so much and I know that I will continue to grow through the 4-H program. 4-H has given me opportunities to meet many different people from around the state through camps and workshops. It has given me confidence to try new activities like photography and cooking. It has molded me to be a leader both in the 4-H program and in my community. While in 4-H, our club has benefited the community through fundraising, community service and through educational programs.
An excerpt from the Gold Star nomination paperwork:
Trinity is a junior at Crockett High School. She plays varsity softball, volleyball, soccer, and participates in cheer. She has been enrolled in 4-H for 8 years. She has had the opportunity to participate in events such as Food Show, Food Challenge, woodworking, photography, art, leadership, judging and livestock production. The 4-H activities that she participates in have led her to want to share her knowledge, not only through 4-H, but through branching into FFA in High School. She is the daughter of Robert and Jacqulyn Meadows of Crockett, Texas.
Coy Smith – Kennard 4-H Club
This is my 5th year as a regular 4-H member. I also participated as a Clover Kid for 2 years before starting as a regular member. I wanted to show steers and do hay judging, livestock judging, and food show, so I joined 4-H. I have worked hard for this award so it means a lot. I was involved in several things such as Hay Judging, Livestock Judging and showing steers. In order to qualify for this award, I had to do a record book and the last 2 years I have done one in Veterinary Science. I kept track of the things I did with the vet and other activities I did with my church and with my beef projects. It was a lot of work but I am glad I did it. I am very proud of all the things I’ve done in 4-H. I want to be a Texas Livestock Ambassador and promote the agriculture industry. I know without farmers and ranchers we can’t have a lot of things we have now. The Livestock Ambassador program will help me promote agriculture and education to those who are not aware of all the good things Agriculture producers do. I also want to be a Vet when I grow up and 4-H has helped me work toward that goal. In our 4-H club, we do a community service project almost every month. We have gathered food and supplies and donated them to various organizations that were in need locally, state wide and in other states. We have gone to nursing homes to sing Christmas Carols. We have gone to a pet shelter and walked the dogs. We have given back to the community in different ways and it makes me feel good when we go that. I like helping other people. 4-H has also helped me in my speaking skills. This is the highest award a member in 6-8 grades can receive.
Adult Leader of the Year
April Ice – Lovelady 4-H
April wanted her children to be involved in many activities and clubs. They became interested in showing Market Hogs and had success on the local level. With the success of her children in the program she became invested in helping other children succeed. She then became a Club Leader and continued the growth and experience of the club members.
The Lovelady 4-H Club has since grown with her leadership with active participation in many contest including: Wildlife Judging, Hay Judging, Livestock Judging, Food and Nutrition teams, Photography, and members participating in Major Livestock Shows. This is all due in large part to her invested time and interest in growing the club and encouraging her members to succeed.
Aside from serving as Adult Leader for Lovelady 4-H club for 3 years, April has also stepped into volunteer leadership positions to serve our youth as the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer of or County Fair Board. Also, she has taken a leadership role in coordinating the Fair Queen and Princess Contest as well as a being a leader within the Youth Livestock Ambassadors program. She is always willing to lend a helping hand. She has even been known to spend days at the front desk of the County Extension office helping out when short staffed by assisting with answering the phones and greeting guests.
An excerpt from the Award of Excellence Nomination from the Gold Star Banquet:
April Ice has been instrumental in providing leadership in the 4-H program by serving as a club leader for the Lovelady 4-H Club for 3 years, also stepping up to serve in various other volunteer leadership roles within the County Fair program, serving our youth.
April is a cheerleader of 4-H. She is eager to encourage, train and lead her members to participate in many events and contests. She goes out of her way to support the members and families of her club in order to help make any situation successful for each person she reaches.
She illuminates any room with her glowing energy and everyone who comes in contact with her is sure to smile! April has been dedicated to improving the 4-H program but more importantly she is dedicated to improving lives of youth through the 4-H program.
The Messenger would like to extend its congratulations to all of the award winners and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.