By Beverly Keller
The Holmes County 4-H Program celebrated another year of telling the story of the program through active participants recently at a banquet at the Carlisle Inn at Walnut Creek.
“4-H Clubs make a special effort throughout the club year to tell the 4-H story to members, families, and communities,” explained Janessa Hill, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development in Holmes County.
To that end, each club is asked to complete a form that lists their activities and accomplishments to that end. “They strive to meet certain goals and are awarded points for achieving them,” Hill shared.
Clubs that have earned 95 points or more and have paid their 4-H Activity Fee are recognized as 4-H Honor Clubs. They receive a certificate and monetary award thanks to the generosity of the Holmes County 4-H Committee.
This year’s winners were:
Dust to Diamonds
Holmes County 4-H Shooting Sports
Nashville Jolly Farmers
There are also a host of other awards available to clubs that are part of the program. Known as the Head, Hands, Heart, Health and Clover awards, these honors are also determined based on information submitted as part of the activity sheets completed. “A volunteer reviews the entries and selects winners in each category,” Hill shared. “The clubs that participate always have great ideas and activities.”
First place winners include:
The Head Activity, an educational program or project that stimulates learning, was awarded to OH-4H. The club appointed a Parli Committee. That group’s job was to teach components of the parliamentary procedure at each meeting and then implement the procedure in future meetings.
The Hands Activity is about community service and “hands-on” learning. The Prairie Partners were honored for their extensive list of community service and outreach events. Club members weeded, mulched and planted flowers in a total of four flower beds at the Holmesville bridge. The club has maintained those beds since the start of the Rails To Trails program. In addition, the club picks up trash along Township Road 553. The group also helped with four fundraisers this year. They also helped to run games at the Holmesville Homecoming and provided gift baskets full of 4-H promotional materials and passed out candy and popsicles during the parade.
The Heart Activity involves giving, something done by club members for others and was awarded to the Dust to Diamonds Club. Over several months members donated items for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritans Purse. Shoeboxes were packed for both boys and girls using these items and that culminated in a packing party at their last meeting.
The Health Activity is focused on health and safety. It was awarded to Doughty Valley that integrated health consciousness by ensuring healthy snacks were offered at each meeting. The group also invited Dave Snyder from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department to a meeting. He shared information about the importance of being aware of surroundings at all times. Club members also had the opportunity to view the inside of a Sheriff’s vehicle and also witnessed an advisor “cuffed” as part of a demonstration.
Positive promotion of 4-H is the focus of the Clover Award that was awarded to the Prairie Partners 4-H Club. Flower beds maintained along Rails To Trails publicize their 4-H name and work. Leftover prizes and parade candy were earmarked for goodie bags, complete with 4-H materials, that were donated to area third-grade classrooms. In addition, the group participated in several parades over the summer months.
On an individual basis, members of clubs who serve as officers were also honored for outstanding service. Laura Irwin, a 12-year member of the Nashville Jolly Farmers Club was selected as the 2018 Holmes County 4-H Club Secretary honoree. “Laura is a very devoted 4-H member and deserving of the award,” Hill explained of a statement received from the Nashville Club’s advisor. “Laura is not only very active in 4-H, but also numerous other commitments. Despite her busy schedule, Laura takes multiple projects, both livestock and lifeskills and her projects are always done with superb care and attention.”
Morganne Balder was honored with the 2018 Holmes County 4-H Club Treasurer Award. This was the sixth time, the member of the Doughty Valley Club has been honored in this way. Her projects have included rabbits, llamas, and dairy heifers.
Outstanding fair board members were also recognized. They included:
Maddie Hebron — She is known as a great listener who holds others responsible for their actions. She was elected as a representative to the Senior Fair Board where she had the responsibility of telling the Junior Fair story.
Jones Triplets — He is known for his work ethic. He took shifts that were not glamorous, helped guide hogs despite not having an animal to show and maintained calm and organization with two rings at the rabbit show. He even came back early from sport practices just to cover certain shows that ran long.
Alyx Morris — “Throughout the years I have known her, she has been thrown a lot of adversity, “Hill said. “Things haven’t necessarily gone in a favorable way for her and it would have been easy to stop helping but instead she has done the opposite. She is typically two-steps ahead of me and predicts what needs done before I even ask. Quite frankly, she has been our go-to person to get things accomplished knowing she will complete any task given and go above and beyond the call.”
Jim and Joyce Croskey were honored as the 2018 Friends of 4-H. They were honored for their hard work and dedication to helping in any capacity at the fair with the 4-H program. “It is hard to remember a time when Jim and Joyce were not helping at the Holmes County Fair,” Hill said.
Cheryl Shaver was honored as the 4-H Partner of the year. “She is a long-standing, dedicated, and active volunteer,” Hill stated. “In addition to serving as a 4-H advisor, current treasurer of the 4-H committee and advisor of the llama committee, Cheryl makes herself available to help at events and with project evaluations.” She has been a volunteer for 15 years.
Bill Brown and wife, Joni Brown were spotlighted as the recipients of the 4-H Alumni Award. “4-H is in their blood,” Hill said. “They may even bleed green.” Both were members of 4-H from age 9 until they aged out. All eight of the couples’ children were part of the program as well.
The Friend of the Holmes County Fair was also honored at the event. A candidate was selected by the Senior Fair Board. However, he declined the honor and asked that it be presented to all the kids that make the fair what it is in terms of 4-H participants and FFA members who serve. “The effort that each of you put forth in your projects is amazing,” Hill said.
This story originally appeared in the October 24, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.