Most people have heard of 4-H, the state’s largest youth organization, but many don’t realize that 4-H is under the direction of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Hopkins County has a strong 4-H program, and this was evident at the recent 4-H Achievement Banquet. With over 160 4-H members in Hopkins County, 4-H offers a wide variety of opportunities.
The 2017 4-H Achievement Banquet was attended by 4-H families, relatives, leaders, agents, and guests. Dr. Frannie Miller was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding 4-H leader. This award is given to a 4-H leader who has exhibited encouragement to 4-H members, has been active in leading and supporting 4-H project work, and has worked closely with the Extension staff for the betterment of the county 4-H program. Dr. Miller leads the 4-H STEM project, which included the recent solar eclipse viewing on Celebration Plaza, hosted by the 4-H STEM group. Her other accomplishments included: arranging for a group of 4-H members to participate in the Houston Livestock Show Public Speaking contest and “Lunch with an Astronaut” in Houston; acquiring facilities for the county 4-H contests which included educational presentations, public speaking, food show, fashion show, share-the-fun talent contest, and consumer decision making contest; leading the 4-H STEM project group which meets twice each month; acquiring prizes for various 4-H contests; supporting the 4-H Paper Clover Campaign; and encouraging 4-H members to complete a 4-H Record book.
The 4-H Rookie of the Year is awarded to a first year 4-H member who has participated in a variety of activities, including project work and community service. The 2017 Rookie of the Year award was presented to Diego Childs. Diego is a member of the Infinity 4-H Club and his main project is public speaking. Among his first-year accomplishments, Diego competed in the Houston Livestock Show Public Speaking Contest, County & District 4-H Public Speaking contests, participated in the foods & nutrition project, and completed a 4-H Record book. His community service projects included gathering school supplies, helping with the 4-H Butterfly Garden at Cooper Lake State Park, Salvation Army bell ringer, and assisting with fund raisers for the trip to Houston for the contest. He states that his major accomplishments through 4-H have been getting over his stage fright, meeting new friends, and meeting an astronaut. According to the person who interviewed him for this award, “Diego is Mr. Personality!”
Other 4-H members who were recognized for 4-H accomplishments through record books, 4-H Exchange Trip participation, and contest participation were:
Juniors (grades 3-5): Blaine Allen, Christian Ebel, Kennadi Erwin, Valerie Flecker, Ethan George, Zia Miller, Judah VanRijn, and PJ VanRijn.
Intermediates (grades 6-8): Savannah Allen, Jorja Bessonett, Eric Bridges, Honesty Bridges, Penelope Deterding, Jacob George, Maddie Holt, Braden Lennon, Jace Mayers, Elida Miller, Trinity Sickles, and Kiara Stowater.
Seniors (grades 9-12): Kendall Blake, Esparanza Deterding, Cade Goldsmith, Wesley McDonald, and Geoffrey Stewart.
The following 4-H members applied for special awards for years of membership:
– 1st Year Membership Pin Award: Blaine Allen, Diego Childs
– 3rd Year Clover Pin Award: Ethan George
– 4th Year Clover Star Award: Braden Lennon, Eric Bridges
– 5th Year Clover Star Award: Honesty Bridges
– 6th Year Clover Star Award: Savannah Allen, Jorja Bessonett
– 8th Year Leadership Award: Wesley McDonald
Enrollment is now open for the 2017/2018 4-H year and the Hopkins County Extension staff encourages youth in grades 3 thru 12 to enroll. Several opportunities are coming up in the fall, including 4-H Foods Fun Day, National 4-H Week, One Day 4-H, 4-H Project Show, County-wide 4-H Christmas Party, and individual club meetings. Registration is done online at: https://texas.4honline.com. New members will need to set up a profile, while returning members simply need to go in and update information.
Hopkins County has five 4-H clubs from which to choose: Arbala (meets at the Arbala Community Center), Dike (meets at the Dike Community Center), Infinity (meets at the Extension Office), Miller Grove (meets at the Miller Grove School, and 4-H Paws (3rd & 4th grade school-based club at Sulphur Springs Elementary School), as well as a Veterinary Science Special Interest Club. Contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 for more information on club meeting dates and club leaders.