Scotts Bluff County 4-H held its annual Achievement Celebration on Sunday, Nov. 6, at the University of Nebraska’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center. The theme was “A Red Carpet Affair,” celebrating the end of a successful 4-H year and awarded and honored volunteer, leaders, and 4-H members. In addition, the 4-H Council for the next year was elected at this event.
As per the Constitution and By-Laws of the 4-H Council officers are elected by ballot at the 4-H Achievement event by 4-H membership at large to begin their term in January of the following year.
The 4-H Council members elected for 2017 are: President – Wendi Callenius, Vice-President – Patty Pittman, Secretary – Julie Lane, Treasurer – Tanya Lake, Youth Representatives – Alexis Souza and Autumn Pittman.
The 4-H Council, in collaboration with Extension staff, determines the needs of 4-H youth in the county and how to meet those needs. This is done through program planning, policy making, resource development, linkages within the program and in the community, and accountability.
Youth award highlights include:
The Outstanding 4-H Member Award is the highest award a member can receive and is based on their activities and accomplishments in 4-H. Candidates for this award must be 16 to 18 years of age by Jan. 1 of the current year. The recipient of this award for 2016 was Katherine Esselstein of Mitchell she received a plaque and a $250 college scholarship.
The I Dare You Leadership Award recipients were Nathaniel Fahrenbrook of Gering, Alexis Souza of Scottsbluff, and Hayley VanNatter of Morrill.
Each recipient is awarded a plaque and a $200 college scholarship. The award was first offered to young people in the United States in 1941 by William H. Danforth, founder of the Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis. The I Dare You Award recognizes those who, with a little encouragement, are ready to see themselves as leaders—young adults who are ready to take the dare. Qualifying 4- H members are 16 to 18 years old by Jan. 1 of the current year and have demonstrated personal integrity, lead well-rounded lives and possess a willingness to assume responsibility.
The 4-H Career Portfolio is the annual record-keeping system used by Nebraska Youth. It is a composite of all 4-H and non-4-H projects and activities throughout the individual’s 4-H career. The members receive certificates and cash awards of $50 for 1st place and $25 for 2nd place. This year’s winners were:
1 – Brilea Sinner of Morrill; 2 – Ethan Bomberger of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
1 – Jace Heimerman of Scottsbluff; 2 – Clayton Haug of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
The Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover Program is designed to encourage 4-H youth to engage in a variety of projects and activities that will enable members to acquire the life skills necessary to lead successful lives as competent, caring and contributing citizens.
The program consists of six levels that require a 4-H member to plan and report a broad range of age appropriate accomplishments. The program is designed to enable every 4-H member willing to exert the effort an opportunity to be recognized, regardless of how they are involved in 4-H. Justin Keller of Lyman received an amethyst pin. Sophia Pitts of Lyman received an aquamarine pin. Brilea Sinner of Morrill received a ruby pin, and Alexis Souza of Scottsbluff received a sapphire pin.
The appearance of animals at the county fair is many times the first impression the public has of 4-H and the livestock industry. The focus of Herdsmanship is on teamwork, showing pride in their animal exhibits, and learning to pick-up and take care of the area. Herdsmanship also includes proper care of animals, making sure there is enough water and the pens are clean. A Herdsmanship Award is given to a club for excelling in these efforts. These 4-H Clubs were recognized for their herdsmanship:
The Just Kidding Around 4-H Club was recognized for herdsmanship for Beef, Dairy and Fiber Animals, and Meat Goats. The Panhandle Livestock Club received the herdsmanship award for Sheep. The Mitchell Valley Club and the Haig Club received the herdsmanship award for Swine.
This year was the first time The Tom Holman Spirit of 4-H Award was presented to Justin Keller of Lyman. The award is to honor the memory of Tom Holman, long-time Extension Educator in Scotts Bluff County. It is given to 4-H members in their first few years of membership who are trying out a variety of project areas.
Volunteers and leaders and others also received awards.
Leaders are the foundation of the 4-H program. Leaders teach many important life skills, help youth learn by doing, voluntarily give of their caring and kind words and provide opportunities to succeed and fail in a safe environment. Special pins are awarded in five year intervals to volunteers who continue to be committed to the 4-H Program.
Five years – Amy Brown, Nathan Clause, Corey Fisher, Jeanette Fisher, Sean Howe, Keelyn Hubbard, Jennifer Murphy, Cara Stout, LeAnn Tarr, Rebecca Ulrich and Jeanie Young
Ten years – Bryan Henderson
Fifteen years – Renee Ford, Doug Hubbard, Donna Jenne and Zach Suhr
Twenty years – Jessalyn Petersen
Thirty-five years – Sandra Sue Suhr and Corlyus Treffer
Forty years – Juanita Baker
Skip and Donna Jenne of Gering were recognized as 4-H Leaders of the Year. The Leaders of the Year Award recognizes an enrolled 4-H volunteer leader. This person or persons may be a club leader, project leader, special interest leader, community leader or a resource leader.
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond in giving service to the 4-H program. The recipient does not need to be an enrolled 4-H volunteer leader. There were two winners of this award: Todd Neu of Minatare for providing leadership to the 4-H Livestock Committee and as a Barn Boss at the Scotts Bluff County Fair, and Natalie Creech of Mitchell for organizing and leading the Sew Cool 4-H Club.
The Friend of 4-H Award recognizes someone who has been a true friend in providing support to the 4-H program. This award was presented to Panhandle Concrete Products and the Hayward Family. This business truly has a heart for 4-H. Involved in 4-H in the past, the Livestock Committee approached them to help with a livestock barn concrete project. They donated thousands of dollars in concrete and time to make this happen.
Also new this year was the New Horizon 4-H alumni award. Scotts Bluff County 4-H has many young volunteers that are recent 4-H alumni. 4-H has made an impact on their lives so they have decided to give back to the program as volunteers and are already making a difference in the 4-H program. There were two recipients of this award: Kaden Hubbard of Mitchell and Taylor Russell of Gering. Kaden has become a sheep volunteer, helping members with their projects, and he has also provided leadership as a sheep superintendent co-chair. Taylor helped with the showmanship work this summer, became a beef superintendent and has recently stepped into a leadership role on the Livestock Committee as secretary.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Joan Coker of Scottsbluff. Joan has been a 4-H leader for 46 years. She has been an integral member of the Scotts Bluff County 4-H Program at both the local and state level. Her generosity with her time and expertise, and her dedication to youth has helped propel Scottsbluff County 4-H and will continue to strengthen it for years to come.
Scotts Bluff County 4-H would like to thank the Achievement Committee – Julie Lane, Wendi Callenius, Patty Pittman, Autumn Pittman, Becky Spencer, Becky Ulrich and Jana Schwartz for all of their work in planning this event, and also thanks to Paul Callenius for being the emcee.