Last weekend, 4-H families across Barton County gathered for fun, fellowship, and celebrations!
The annual 4-H Achievement Celebration gives us an opportunity to celebrate individual and club achievements, and recognize leaders and supporters.
4-H Council officers Landon Woydziak, Melody Braddy, and Jonas Kern were our masters of ceremony as each club had the time to highlight a few of their activities and award winners for the past year.
In addition to club awards, a few special awards are presented including the Key Award and Friends of 4-H.
The Key Award is the most prestigious Kansas 4-H Award. Candidates must be 16 years old and have been enrolled in the Leadership project for the past four years. Nominees must have demonstrated outstanding contributions in leadership, citizenship, community service, demonstrations, and the holding of club and county offices. In short, it recognizes 4-H members who have lived up to the high ideals of the 4-H pledge.
The Farm Credit Associations of Kansas proudly present these awards across the state each year and Parker Dicks is the 2023 recipient.
Dicks is a 10-year member of the Busy Buzzers 4-H Club and has been active in the Leadership project for four years. He has held multiple offices for his club and at the county level for 4-H Council, Junior Leaders, and the 4-H Livestock Committee. He is involved in a variety of project areas and can be counted on to mentor young 4-H members and provide a calm and steady presence in and out of the show ring.
Each 4-H Club has the opportunity to nominate someone as a Friend of 4-H.
The first recipient this year is the Dustin and Aimee Wyant family. Wyants give generously of their time to assist at the county level in several project areas. In particular, they provide direction for the STEM SpaceTech project, help younger members attending STEM camp, and assist livestock members in the poultry and rabbit projects.
An additional Friend of 4-H was awarded to Connie Hughes. She was a club leader for the Ellinwood Energizers 4-H Club for a number of years and continues to support Junior Leaders through peach sales, welcome photography youth to their family farm to practice their skills, and supports 4-H at the Barton County Fair Sale of Champions. She helped to plan the Achievement Celebration for many years and mentored many youth in the Beef project.
A wonderful 4-H Council committee planned the meal and the decorations for a fun-filled evening with a delicious dinner! In this season of thanksgiving, I always end the evening by reminding 4-H members to look around them and show their appreciation to their families and club leaders for direction and support. I’ll add the same here – 4-H couldn’t provide such opportunities without dedicated volunteers, club leaders, fantastic families, and my co-workers who step in to help whenever and wherever needed!
Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness.
Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District, Barton Office at 620-793-1910.