On Jan. 25, the Delaware County 4-H Advisory Committee hosted the 80th annual 4-H Volunteer and Member Recognition Banquet at the recently constructed Ag Center at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Laryssa Hook, Ohio State Extension 4-H educator, spoke from a podium which was constructed using the floorboards of the stage in the former Junior Fair Building. The podium was designed and built by 4-H alumnus Al Blyth of Sunbury.
4-H members who were recognized completed a county achievement form to highlight their excellent project area accomplishments, community service initiatives, and leadership in their clubs and communities. The following 4-H members were honored:
• Makenzie Levings, of the Scioto Dog 4-H Club, was presented with the Citizenship & Community Service Award. Levings was chosen to be president of her 4-H club as well as a Junior Fair Board and Rabbit Committee member. She spends a lot of her time volunteering at local nursing homes with her dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. Over the years, she has collected items for blessings bags for churches and pet meal bags for SourcePoint.
Levings also earned the Leadership Award. Leadership is something that comes naturally for Levings. The past nine years of her 4-H membership has allowed her to enhance and develop her leadership skills. Outside of 4-H and the fair, one can still find her leading in other ways, which include her FFA chapter or volunteering her time at the Delaware County Humane Society.
• Gabrielle Stahl, a member of the Scioto Dog 4-H Club, was awarded the Companion Animals Award. Stahl completed the You and Your Dog project this year. It helped her learn about dogs, their expenses, and how being involved in the community can make an impact. Volunteering at the Animal and Me Show at the fair was such a rewarding part of her 4-H experience this year.
• Jayden Lucas, of the Critter Run 4-H Club, was presented with the Environmental Science Award. Lucas has been in 4-H for six years and has taken several different environmental science projects. He enjoyed exploring creeks and waterways, as well as seeing different rock formations, plants, and animals while hiking with family. Along with taking the environmental science project, he took vegetables as well and was able to see the cycle of life through many different aspects.
Lucas also received the Rabbit Project Award. He raised nine rabbits of different breeds, which include Flemish giants, New Zealand and mini lops. As a part of his rabbit project, he kept records of all expenses, breeding and nutrition information. This year, he was able to attend the Hartford Fair and the Delaware County Fair, where he was awarded first place in five different categories. Lucas was also awarded the Swine Award, and he has taken the market hog project for four years now. He selected his two pigs, a gilt and a barrow, and worked with them every day to build their endurance. This year, he decided to keep them separated to better manage their feed intake and to make sure they wouldn’t be attached to each other. This year, he placed second with his gilt and received an A grade on his market hog project.
• Logan Lucas, of the Critter Run 4-H Club, earned the Llama and Alpaca Award. This is Lucas’ third year taking the Alpaca Project. He is always eager to learn new things and is a hard worker. All of his hard work led him to show at the Ohio State Fair and Delaware County Fair where he placed first in Junior Showmanship, second in junior obstacle course and public relations, and first in alpaca non-breeder.
• Autumn Wampler, of the Critter Run 4-H Club, was presented with the Goat Award. Wampler had a very rewarding year 4-H experience this year. She took first place in the intermediate goat skillathon. From teaching young members how to care for and show their goats to assisting during the birthing process of her goats, she has experienced it all and passed down her knowledge when ever possible.
• Sierra Sparks, a member of the Just Lopin Around 4-H Club, was presented with the Poultry Award. Sparks has taken multiple different projects in the poultry area, from egg production to market turkeys. She always puts forth a strong work ethic towards her projects, and her hard work paid off as this year. She received the Outstanding Exhibitor ribbon, won the heavyweight class, and had the grand champion market turkey.
Sparks also earned the Horse Award. She attended the Delaware County Fair and many other shows around the state with her horse named Smoke. She placed first in showmanship, pleasure and horsemanship. This year, she also attended rodeo camp, where she was able to experiment with poles and barrels to expand her knowledge and confidence with horses.
• The Cunningham Leadership Award, a clock trophy, is given in memory of Paul Cunningham, who was an OSU Extension agent in Delaware County from 1940 to 1964. In 1965, after his death, a memorial fund was established to annually recognize two outstanding 4-H youth leaders. This year’s awards were earned by Hayley Romo, of Bellepoint Friendly 4-Hers, and Shannon Barr of Berlin 4-Hers.
Romo is not only active in 4-H but her community and school as well. She is her club president, on student council, a part of the National Honors Society, as well as a Buckeye Valley student mentor and tutor. Romo was even given an opportunity to work with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to work on important issues for Ohio Citizens. she is a great asset to 4-H and is someone who you can truly count on.
Barr has been very active in 4-H, at the club, county and state level. She has been president of her club. She has been on the Delaware County Junior Fair Board and served as one of the representatives from Ohio to National 4-H Congress. This year, she was able to help conduct and teach a gardening class for the Wexner Medical Center Garden of Hope, where families of cancer survivors grew over 1,200 onion plants. Barr is a great leader that is reliable, responsible, and goes above and beyond what is required of her.
• The Ashley Junior Fair Award is given by the Delaware County Fair in honor of the Ashley Junior Fair and its history of being the first junior fair in the nation in 1923. In 1972, the Ashley Fair ended and the money remaining was used to start a cash award given annually to two outstanding junior fair exhibitors. This year’s honorees are Makenzie Levings, of Scioto Dog 4-H Club, and Allison Beekman of Kountry Kids 4-H Club.
Levings has taken a variety of projects during her nine years in 4-H. In her early years, she took rabbits, cavys and dogs. She then began to specialize and excel in her dog projects and even took larger animals such as horses and market beef. Levings has placed in numerous classes over the years and even took first place 40 times!
Beekman has been a 4-H member for nine years. She has received over 20 A’s and 25 special awards with her market steers and beef feeders. Beekman has placed in numerous beef classes over the years, which include showmanship, outstanding feeder calf exhibitor, county beef achievement award winner and even a grand champion.
• The Susan Bargar Memorial Horse Achievement Award is given in memory of Bargar, a 1975 Olentangy graduate who was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1983. She was an accomplished equestrian and had won numerous awards for her horsemanship at the Ohio State Fair. Lily Bauman, of Sunbury Halter & Saddle 4-H Club, was this year’s recipient.
Bauman’s journey through 4-H started out when she was just 8 years old. Her first year in for 4-H she leased a horse, and by the end of the program, she knew she wanted to stick with it. Throughout 4-H, she has taken beginning horse management, horse nutrition, light horse, dressage, and horse training. Bauman has shown in multiple different disciplines at both state and county levels. She has also been a part of the horse bowl, hippology, and horse judging, where her team was able to attend the nationals.
Receiving recognition during the banquet for completing their officer books in an outstanding manner were Emmie Schroeder for the Secretary Book and Michael Riley for the Treasurer Book.
Youth interested in joining Delaware County 4-H can contact the Extension Office either by calling 740-833-2030 or visiting https://delaware.osu.edu/program-areas/4-h-youth-development.