Extension honors top 4-H leaders, members

Dr. Cynthia Crawford, director of donor education for Missouri Extension, presented the program at the Feb. 19 Ray County University of Missouri Extension Council Annual Dinner at the Eagleton Center.
Her topic was “100 More Years of Opportunities, Answers and Solutions”. Missouri Extension will celebrate its 100th birthday May 8.
A number of recognition awards were presented at the dinner:
The Extension Leaders Honor Roll recognition was presented to Lee Roy Martens of Richmond.  The Leaders Honor Roll program honors outstanding University of Missouri Extension community leaders who have excelled in supporting extension programs.
Martens has been a Ray County 4-H leader for 47 years, served on the Ray County Extension Council eight years and is there to give a hand when asked.
Extension Council members recognized for four years of service were: Everett Balman of Richmond and Danielle Russell of Rayville.
State 4-H Excellence Awards went to three 4-H members in Ray County – Ashley Stewart of Rayville, Jacob Steele of Excelsior Springs and Kaitlyn Zimmerman of Excelsior Springs.
“Completing 4-H record books improves one’s ability to express themselves in written and verbal forms of communication that are necessary and important life skills for today and in the future,” said Nancy Coleman, the local Extension director. “4-H members’ awareness of the importance of leadership, citizenship and community service in 4-H youth development are also increased. The reflection on all 4-H experiences provides evidence of the positive impact 4-H has on youth.”
There are three levels of 4-H Excellence Awards:
Level I is for 4-H members 8 to 10 years old.  Twenty-four record books were initially critiqued by judges and the top five from the Northwest region were awarded certificates, Medal of Excellence and a $50 camp scholarship. Ashley Stewart and Jacob Steele, both of Clever Clovers 4-H Club, received Level I State Excellence Awards.
Level II is for 4-H members 11 to 13 years old.  The selection becomes more difficult as only three individuals receive the State 4-H Award.  Award winners receive a scholarship to attend the state 4-H Teen Conference or State 4-H Congress.
Level III is for 4-H members who are 14 to 18 years old.  Initially 22 record books were judged and then eight moved on from the regional review to the State 4-H for further selection.
The record books are judged at the state level and from there the top 25 to 30 young people are invited to interview during State 4-H Congress.  The final part is that 20 young people are selected as delegates to National 4-H Congress.
National 4-H Congress is the premier 4-H event held in Atlanta, Ga. Participant experiences include leadership, service and cultural opportunities. “It is a trip of a lifetime,” Coleman said.
Kaitlyn Zimmerman of Clever Clovers 4-H Club record book has moved on to state to be reviewed for the final selection of a trip to National 4-H Congress.

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