A year in the books!
November 10 marked the official ending of the 4-H year for the hardworking members of Kiowa County with the annual 4-H banquet.
Many members where recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year. The Kiowa County 4-H Council, President, Hatch Nelson; Vice President, Emily Nelson; Secretary, Katherine Trosper; Treasurer, Chase Stolzenberger; Reporter, Zoie Arnold-Kraft; and recreation leaders Clayton Nelson and Alexa Nelson; and Gaige Rittgers did a great job announcing the evenings events.
The night started off with a meal prepared by the leaders and parents of the members. A big thank you to Melissa Jones for preparing the ham, Gloria Trosper for the potatoes and rolls, and to the rest of the families for bringing the salads and desserts that made for an awesome meal.
After the meal, the pledges where presented by Gaige and Clayton. Zoie then recognized the Kiowa County Junior Livestock Committee, Fair Board, Commissioners, livestock and food auction buyers, and the many award sponsors.
Hatch moved on to honoring the new friends of 4-H. This year's inductees are Tom and Cathy Davis. The owners of Kiowa Health Mart have been long time supporters of the 4-H by yearly sponsoring awards, donating to livestock projects and 4-H scholarships, and buying livestock projects. We appreciate Tom and Cathy's support, and look forward to continuing our friendship for years to come.
Katherine announced the very important leaders of the 4-H program. Without these people, 4-H wouldn't be possible. A huge thanks to Debbie Cornleius, Brooklynn Jones, Melissa Jones, Doris Lessenden, Dwight Lessenden, Tearle Lessenden, Denise Nelson, Mark Nelson, Michelle Nelson, Jodi Stolzenberger and Gloria Trosper.
Gloria recognized the future of 4-H by giving out certificates and a gift to all her Clover Bud members. She also recognized all the parents and members that helped her with the meeting and crafts that these kids are involved in. I would like to thank Gloria for taking time to do this, and for organizing and managing the concession stand.
Next, Emily presented the list of 4-H members who completed a huge list of projects. These members must present a project and/or show livestock at Exhibit Day or the fair, and complete a record book to receive a Certificate of Achievement. This is a great honor because these members put in countless hours finishing their projects. This year the 4-H had 36 members who completed 142 projects. Great job kids, leaders, and parents!
Chase invited our county shootings sports leaders, Mark and Michelle Nelson, to the stage. They gave gifts to the members that where involved in shoots sporting. These members all competed in the District 6 or State Shoots. This is a project the involves a lot of determination and safety.
Alexa moved on to the members that qualified for the state fair with their projects. Of all the members who qualified, Kiowa County had four members place as Reserve Champion, and three placed as Champion in their age division, and one place as Reserve Grand Champion. This was a great showing for our small county. Alexa announced the Grand Champion winners of Exhibit Day. These members received $50 gift cards for all the hard work they put into their projects.
Chase then announced the livestock winners. These hard-working members received buckles for their commitment to the projects. Another thanks to Southeast Colorado Power for generously donating gift cards to the champion market winners. Next up were the showmanship winners. These members also received gift cards for the skills that they have developed and displayed.
The livestock record book winners were next on the agenda. The record books are one of the most challenging and important part of completing a project. Members record books were judged by extension agents in the surrounding counties, which was a huge help to me. Outstanding record book winners received $50 gift cards from Farm Credit of Lamar. They include senior, Hatch Nelson; intermediate, Spencer Uhland; and junior, Aspen Nelson. Good job for all your hard work!
I had the honor of recognizing the outstanding members. These members are nominated by a volunteer or leader. They then must answer a series of questions related to 4-H and community involvement. Also, they needed two letters of recommendation to go with their answers. After these where turned in, a volunteer panel reviewed and selected the Outstanding Members. These Outstanding Members received a $100 gift card from the Kiowa County 4-H Council. Recipients were senior, Hatch Nelson; intermediate, Alexa Nelson; and junior, Mia Crow. Receiving this award is a great honor for a member, and they join a long list of proud members.
Melissa and Jodi, the Leader Advisors to Kiowa County's 4-H Council, then conducted the installation of officers. These members will lead our 4-H members for the next year. As the candles were lit, and the new officers accepted their positions, it reminded me of the importance of 4-H. It is one of the best youth programs which helps members to make their best better.
The 2020 officers include President, Hatch Nelson; Vice President and Senator, Chase Stolzenberger; Secretary, Katherine Trosper; Treasurer, Alexa Nelson; Senator, Emily Nelson; and Recreation Leaders, Zoie Arnold-Kraft, Gaige Rittgers, and Clayton Nelson. With that, Hatch made the closing remarks.
I would like to thank all those that that attended the banquet, and all the great supporters of the 4-H program.
As I write this, I am getting ready to attend the Dare to Be You camp, to which I am taking four of our members. This a great opportunity for members to meet many other kids from across southeast Colorado and attend leadership workshops. If anyone would like more information on the 4-H program, please contact me or the office.