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Summer full of achievements for 4-H

By Laura Allen
Rowan County 4-H Agent

Summer has been a busy time for Rowan County 4-H.

In earlier articles, 4-H’ers have been recognized for achievements and participation in district-level project record books and presentations, the state 4-H horse show and poultry judging. Now, it’s time to recognize 4-H youths for additional achievements during the summer.

On June 10-12, three Rowan County 4-H’ers attended N.C. 4-H Citizenship Focus, held in downtown Raleigh. During this conference, they learned about government, how a bill is written and how to be a good citizen.

They also conducted a service project and visited the General Assembly, meeting with state Rep. Harry Warren, Rep. Larry Pittman and Sen. Carl Ford to discuss 4-H, government and our community. Rowan 4-H’ers attending the conference included Anthony Blandino, Josie Correll and Christian Stebe.

During the last week of June, Sam Oster competed in the National 4-H Shooting Sports competition held in Grand Island, Nebraska. Sam was part of the North Carolina 4-H .22 Small Bore Pistol team. 

Oster earned a silver medal on Day 1 of competition in slowfire, finishing only 1 point behind the first-place competitor. His pistol team finished fifth. On Day 2 in silhouette, the team finished eighth. On Day 3, Sam finished 12th and his team again finished fifth.

In the overall results of the competition, Sam finished as the 10th-place pistol shooter in the nation and his pistol team finished sixth. The N.C. team almost won the sweepstakes and for the first time in 20 years came in second place, only a few points behind Louisiana. 

On July 9-11, Oster attended the 72nd annual 4-H Electric Congress at Western Carolina University. Since 1947, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have sponsored the annual congress to emphasize electrical energy concepts, energy conservation and safety working with electricity. Electric Congress is held for county-winning 4-H’ers who participate in the electric program. 

During Electric Congress, Oster participated in a community service project, toured a hydroelectric plant and viewed a live wire demonstration. At the awards banquet, Oster received the second-place territorial award from a representative from Duke Energy Carolinas for his electric portfolio. Oster was also a state electric portfolio winner and received the State Senior Overall Winner Award. 

For more information on the 4-H Electric Program, visit https://nc4h.ces.ncsu.edu/electric/

On July 7-12, 13 youths ages 8-14 attended 4-H Camp at Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Camp. For many of them, it was the first time away from home. They learned how to be independent, overcome fear, challenge themselves and grow during this weeklong camp.

Camp activities included archery, horseback riding, rock wall, hiking, ropes courses, swimming, canoeing, yoga, kickball, campfires, a talent show and more.

If you are interested in your child attending 4-H Camp in 2020, contact laura_allen@ncsu.edu.

On July 12, Rowan County 4-H’ers competed in the N.C. 4-H Horse Artistic Expression competition. Those participating included Livvie Hill: Craft, second, photography; Baydn Sweatt, drawing, seventh; Taybryn Dietz, photography; Maclaine Dietz, photography, fifth.

On July 20, State 4-H Presentation Finals were held on the campus of N.C. State University, where district qualifiers competed in state level 4-H presentations. Laney Gabosch received gold (first place) in the Food & Nutrition category with her presentation on “Heart Health.” Christian Stebe was silver (second place) in the Beef Char-Grill category in which he demonstrated his ability to properly and safely grill steak.

Emily Barlow was bronze (third place) in the Foods & Nutrition category with her presentation on Pumpkin Bread. Josie Correll was bronze (third place) in the public speaking category with her speech on “Certified Hereford Beef.”

There are lots of 4-H presentation categories that 4-H’ers can compete in. This is a great way to get youths involved in learning and practicing public speaking skills. To learn more about the presentation categories, visit https://nc4h.ces.ncsu.edu/youth-3/4-h-awards-incentives-programs-2/presentations/.

Next year’s 4-H presentations will begin with county competition at County Activity Day in April.

4-H Congress was also held at N.C. State University on July 20-23. This annual event focuses on leadership, citizenship, personal development and award recognition of 4-H’ers from across North Carolina.

Emily Barlow, Anthony Blandino, Jaysa Causby, Josie Correll, Christian Stebe, and Holly Wallace represented Rowan County 4-H as delegates at 4-H Congress and participated in many workshops, listened to guest speakers, participated in the democratic process, explored Raleigh, and met new 4-H friends from across North Carolina. These 4-H’ers also participated in the 4-H Candlelighting Ceremony, a 4-H tradition, and helped package more than 80,000 meals to be donated across the state.

Lastly, 74 Rowan County youths participated in at least one of the 14 Rowan County 4-H Summer Fun events offered in June, July and August. We also had one Japanese youth participate; she is a part of the Japanese International Exchange Program through N.C. 4-H and is living with a Rowan County family. These youths learned about agriculture, cooking, adulting skills, pipetting, robotics, rockets, nature, making crafts, community service and more.

The list of workshops for 2020 will be available in April or May.

As summer comes to an end, the 4-H year continues. If your children are not already involved in 4-H, this is a great time to get started. We have 10 4-H clubs in the county. These clubs meet once a month to conduct a business meeting and provide additional learning opportunities for ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1). There are other 4-H opportunities available, as well. 

For more information on 4-H, contact Laura Allen at 704-216-8970 or laura_allen@ncsu.edu. You can also visit https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/, the Rowan County 4-H Program Facebook page, or come by the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury.

4-H is the youth development component of N.C. Cooperative Extension.

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