Highland 4-H Contest Day Held

Staying after school on a Friday is not something students normally do, yet that’s just what the dedicated members of the Highland 4H did as they  participated in their county contest last Friday. Kari Sponaugle, 4-H extension agent, explains more.

“Well, today we are here at the Highland Elementary cafeteria, and we are having the Highland County 4H Contest day. This is an annual event for our 4-H’ers ages 5 – 19. This year we included our Cloverbuds, ages 5-8, to give them a start on their competition career.

“So today we have entries in educational exhibits, which are standalone posters; we have science fair exhibits; we have Share The Fun contests, which include vocal, instrumental and dance; we also have hippology, which is a horse test, stockman’s, which is a livestock test, as well as dairy – those are all identification and trivia quizzes; and we also have a presentation entry.

“This is part of the life skill learning part of the 4-H program. We give them a really good chance to practice their skills. Right now, we have lots of cloggers and lots of presenters already in the county, and so we give them a first and second and third chance to learn about competition, and how things work. This county level contest has to happen before they can move on to a district or a state level competition. So they need to do a good job here at county. They will be judged by a panel of judges and given a score sheet, which can have improvements or comments on it, and then they can be invited, by the 4-H agent, to district competition. Juniors, which are 9 – 13, are eligible for official competition, and they can compete at county and district, and seniors, ages 14 and up, can compete in all three, county, district and state. So this is a chance for them to get their competition careers off to a good start. It’s also another chance for them to use another project they might have already done for school, so this gives them a second opportunity, or even a third, for them to display their particular skills in their interests.

“In Highland County, we have in school 4-H clubs, and we also have community clubs. Community clubs meet outside of school time, and of course, in-school clubs meet with me, when I come to visit on a monthly basis. In school clubs include 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Highland Middle School and Highland High School, and otside of school, we have a STEM enrichment program, we have a Highland horse 4-H club, and we have a Busy Bee 4-H club. So they can join by just going to school every day, or they can join by going to a community club which is outside of school.

“You can reach me at the Highland Extension office, which is 468-2225. I have a second office in bath, and that number is 839-7261. I have an e-mail, which is karis@vt.edu, and we also have Extension web pages where I post things frequently, which is www. http://ext.vt.edu, and look up our local office. We also have a Facebook and a Twitter page.”

13 members participated in the different activities. In the Science Fair Daniel Minnigh, Cami Carpenter, Elijah McKinnell, Colton Williams and Kirsten Wood all received Blue Awards. In the Share the Fun Show, winners in the junior division were Alexis Small and Erin Brendel; intermediate division, Emma Harman; and senior division, Luke Leech.

Additional blue award recipients  from the contest included: Table Setting: Alexis Small (Jr.), Mary Winters Blanchard (Intermediate); Hippology Skillathon- Kirsten Wood; Stockmen’s Skillathon- Marshall Cornelius; Dairy Bowl Skillathon- Clay Hicks; . Educational Exhibits: Marshall Cornelius; and Presentations: Marshall Cornelius & Ryan Gonzalez-Field.


Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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