4-H Volunteer Recognition a night to give thanks

4-H Volunteer Recognition a night to give thanks

Image Credit: Dave Mast

It was an evening of Thanksgiving at Harvest Ridge on Thursday, Nov. 17 when the agricultural community gathered to celebrate the annual 4-H Volunteer Recognition Banquet, hosted by the Ohio State Extension of Holmes County and the Holmes County Senior and Junior Fair Boards.

The evening paid homage to a few people and organizations who were critical to the ongoing growth of Holmes County 4-H programs, the Holmes County Fair and the youth, who will eventually become tomorrow’s leaders.

“Thank you to all of you,” said Janessa Hill, educator for Ohio State Extension of Holmes County. “It’s not just one person or one senior fair board member or one junior fair board member, camp counselor or 4-Her or from our office. It takes an entire team to make this program as awesome as it is. We can’t wait to see what’s happening this year. Thank you for all you do behind the scenes.”

“Year after year I am always amazed at the scores of volunteers who work behind the scenes with little fanfare to make the fair run smoothly,” said Kerry Taylor, Holmes County Senior Fair Board president.

The Head, Heart, Hands, Health and Clover Awards were presented to five Holmes County 4-H clubs.

“We sincerely appreciate all of the great things the clubs are doing in each of these areas,” said presenter Becca Schuch, a member of the Holmes County Junior Fair Board.

The Head Award went to Buckeye 4-H Club, Holmes County 4-H Shooting Sports Club was presented with the Heart Award, the Hands Award went to Doughty Valley 4-H Club, the Health Award was presented to Prairie Partners 4-H Club and Western Holmes 4-H Club was presented with the Clover Award.

Junior fair board member Olivia Gerber presented some 4-H program highlights. Included was an overview of the county’s 4-H programs including the Cloverbud graduation ceremony that was the brainchild of junior fair board member Alyssa Pringle; the fair’s Prince and Princess Day, which allowed youngsters to feel what it’s like to be fair royalty, a program built by Ally Ogi, junior fair board member; advancements in the Holmes County Quality Assurance Program, something that has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to Holmes County veterinarian Eric Shaver; the Celebrity of Showman show, which gives local celebrities a chance to strut their showmanship stuff in the ring; and the Barnyard Buddies 4-H Club’s safety efforts that focused on animal safety.

Emma Brown of Prairie Partners 4-H Club was presented with the 2022 Secretary’s Award, and the 2022 Treasurer’s Award went to fellow Prairie Partner member Annabelle Thompson.

Each year teen counselors serve as volunteers at the annual Camp Ohio, and several young people received honors for the 2022 Outstanding Camp Counselor Award including Ally Ogi as Outstanding Veteran Counselor, Jenna Sheldon as Outstanding Rookie Counselor, and Brianna VanSickle and Logan VanSickle as Outstanding Adult Staff Picks.

The 2022 Outstanding Junior Fair Board Member Awards were presented to Garrett Fowler, Olivia Gerber, Andi Schuch, Becca Schuch, Jarrett Schafer, Ashley Tate and Brianna VanSickle.

Also honored were adult volunteers for years of service as follows:

—Five years: Angela Cerniglia, Brian Giauque, Lisa Hendrix, Gretchen Straits and Danielle Wagers.

—Ten years: Jimmy Croskey, Kevin Fair, Craig Houin, Cormac Irwin, Nate Klink and Renee Zimmerman.

—Fifteen years: Melissa Boughman and Jane Houin.

—Twenty years: Cheryl Shaver, Anicia Smith and Kari Yoder.

—Twenty-five years: Jenni Brown, Mandi Brown and Lisa Lang.

—Thirty years: Bill Brown, Joni Brown and Patricia Lang.

—Forty-five years: Steve Watts.

The 2022 Holmes County Friend of 4-H honor went to Mike Schenk of the Daily Record. Schenk has been a presence at the fair for decades, promoting everything the youth of Holmes County has done through his photography.

The Partner in 4-H Award went to Holmes Oil Distributing, which continues to be a major supporter of everything the 4-H programs accomplish.

“Over the last 10 years, general manager Jeremy Burgett has been spotted raising his number for numerous young men and women at the Holmes County livestock sales,” said Alyssa Pringle, junior fair board member. “Even when he isn’t buying, he is helping increase bids for dozens of 4-Hers. It takes partners like Holmes Oil Distributing to keep our programs running and reward our youth for the hard work they put into their livestock projects.”

Mike Sprang was honored as the Holmes County Alumni Award recipient.

“Mike Sprang’s tremendous work ethic and dedication to making Holmes County 4-H successful is why he is this year’s recipient,” Pringle said.

Taylor then introduced Peg Conn as the recipient of the Holmes County Friend of Fair for 2022.

“(Conn) represents the true definition of a behind-the-scenes volunteer,” Taylor said. “Peg Conn has more than 40 years invested as a volunteer for the sale committee and currently serves as the secretary. If you or your child has ever received a check from the Holmes County sale, Peg’s hands have for sure touched that check.”