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4-H summer success

By Laura Allen
North Carolina Extension

This summer, numerous Rowan County 4-H’ers have been engaged in various 4-H competitions, workshops and activities. Despite changes to a virtual format, these youths have worked diligently at home to prepare for and participate in these 4-H opportunities. Lots of learning and growth has happened for these youths through their 4-H participation this summer.

On June 15-17, five Rowan County 4-H’ers attended Virtual NC 4-H Citizenship Focus. During this conference, 4-H’ers learned about government, government processes and how to be a good citizen. The 4-H’ers were also able to listen to local and state representatives from across the state during a discussion panel. Rowan County 4-H’ers attending this event included Jaysa Causby, Ryleigh Fulghum, Christian Stebe, Olivia Stirrup and an anonymous 4-H’er.

On June 22-26, 11 Rowan youths attended virtual 4-H camp offered by N.C. 4-H. This virtual camping experience was definitely different from in-person 4-H camp, but youths were still able to interact and be involved in camping activities from home.

On July 7-8, three Rowan 4-H’ers attended the 73rd annual 4-H Electric Congress held virtually this year. 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. Rowan 4-H participants included Nathan Croyle, Sam Oster, and an anonymous 4-H’er. At the Virtual Electric Congress Awards Banquet, Oster was recognized as the Duke Energy Carolinas first place territorial winner, winning a monetary prize. He also was the gold (first place) winner for his Electric Portfolio. For more information on the 4-H Electric Program, go to https://nc4h.ces.ncsu.edu/electric/

Virtual 4-H Horse opportunities this summer included competing in the N.C. 4-H Horse Artistic Expression competition and Virtual State Horse Show. Those participating included: 

• John Tucker: artistic expression painting and drawing, Cloverbud participation awards

• Jaysa Causby: virtual state horse show, senior division: second place junior/senior, non-trotting showmanship, second place non-trotting equitation; third place non-trotting pleasure

The Virtual Avian Bowl competition was held on July 16. These youth were quizzed on their poultry knowledge. The Rowan 4-H junior team consisted of Nathan Croyle and Adyson Medley. The Virtual Poultry judging competition was held on Aug. 13. Medley and Olivia Stirrup competed, with Medley placing as the third-highest scoring individual in the junior division.

Medley also competed in the virtual N.C. 4-H dairy judging competition in June, placing as the 10th highest individual scorer in the junior division.

Rowan youths have been participating in 4-H presentations virtually since April. The 4-H presentations involve youths learning or exploring a topic of interest to them, preparing a speech on this topic and then delivering this speech to judges for competition. This is a wonderful way for youths to practice and develop their public speaking skills. The winners from our county competition in April moved on to district competition in June and then district qualifiers participated in state presentation finals in July. This year, gold winners at the district level and gold winners at the state level will receive monetary awards.

Nine 4-H’ers participated in the 4-H South Central District competition by submitting pre-recorded videos of their speech presentations. Jaysa Causby received gold (first place) in the agricultural safety and health category; Olivia Stirrup received gold (first place) in the category of hospitality, etiquette and social graces; Guy Deal won gold (first place) in livestock and dairy production; an anonymous 4-H’er placed gold (first place) in fruits and vegetable use; Samantha Simon received silver (second place) in the careers and entrepreneurship category; Laney Gabsoch placed silver (second place) in health and fitness; Mason Gabosch was silver (second place) in public speaking; Ryleigh Fulghum participated in the arts and communication category; Luke Allen participated in the Cloverbud (5-7 year old) category. Seven of these 4-H’ers qualified for state presentation finals.

For state presentation finals, 4-H’ers presented their same speech topic via video recording for competition. At the state level, Deal was a gold (first place) winner. Silver (second place) winners included M. Gabosch and Stirrup. Bronze winner was an anonymous 4-H’er. Participation awards were received by Causby, L. Gabosch and Simon.

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 their public speaking skills. To learn more about the presentation categories, go to 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 2021.

N.C. 4-H Congress was held virtually on July 20-23. This annual event, open to 4-H’ers ages 13-18 as of Jan. 1, focuses on leadership, citizenship, personal development and award recognition of 4-H’ers from all across North Carolina. This event also includes the campaigning and election process for state 4-H officers. Rowan County 4-H delegates at this event included Stebe, Stirrup and an anonymous 4-H’er. 

Kindness rocks were made by 4-H’ers as part of one of the Summer Fun kits.

Lastly, 14 youths participated in our Weekly Challenges and 56 different Rowan County youths participated in at least one virtual or at-home kit program offered this summer as part of Rowan County 4-H Summer Fun. Through these programs, youths learned about poultry, sewing, arts and crafts, STEM, music, healthy living, patriotism and more. Hopefully in 2021, we will be back to in-person summer programs. The list of workshops for 2021 will be available in April/May of 2021.

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 currently have nine 4-H clubs in the county that are currently meeting virtually. These clubs meet once a month to conduct a business meeting and provide additional learning opportunities for youth ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1). We are also starting county-wide 4-H club meetings, where 4-H’ers from across the county can all meet on Zoom to experience a 4-H club meeting, regardless if they are currently in a 4-H club or not. Be on the lookout for more learning opportunities coming up this fall.

If you are a teacher or homeschool parent, there are also ways that 4-H can support you and your students/children. Please reach out to learn how.

For more information on 4-H, contact Laura Allen at 704-216-8970 or laura_allen@ncsu.edu. You can also go to https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/, the Rowan County 4-H program Facebook page, or visit the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury. The 4-H program is the youth development component of N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Laura Allen is a North Carolina Extension 4-H agent.

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