The Rowan County 4-H Program held its annual Achievement Night Banquet on Saturday, February 9. This event serves as an opportunity to recognize 4-H volunteers, parents, and members for their accomplishments in 2012. The evening began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Christian Stebe, who is a member of both the East Equine Explorers 4-H Club and the Hot Shots 4-H Shooting Sports Club. Jaysa Causby, member of the East Equine Explorers 4-H Club, then led us in the 4-H Pledge.
Following dinner, our 4-H club leaders and members were recognized. Rowan County 4-H had eight active 4-H clubs during 2012. These include: the BCR Trail Blazers, led by Mindy Carriker and Brandy Hampton; the East Equine Explorers, led by Dr. Ann Furr; the Home Achievers, led by Diana Wallace; the Hot Shots 4-H Shooting Sports Club, led by Glenn and Beth Stebe; the Shive 4-H Green Team, led by Sharon Ingold; the Silver Clovers, led by Robin Tester; Three Cedars, led by Katie Muir and Kenny White; and the UTC Hoof Beats, led by Karen Plyler and Joey Bullock. In addition, we recognized at-large, or independent, 4-H members. These are members involved in the county 4-H program, but do not belong to a specific club. In total, we recognized 141 club members and 55 club leaders and parent helpers.
Each 4-H club is required to submit a charter application each year. The charter identifies a group as an organized 4-H club and authorizes the group to use the 4-H name and emblem for educational purposes. Receiving their initial club charter as a new club in 2012 were the BCR Trail Blazers, Home Achievers, and Silver Clovers. Clubs who have received their charters can earn a gold or emerald seal for their charter for each year the club is active. Earning a gold seal for their charter was the Hot Shots 4-H Shooting Sports Club. Clubs who go above and beyond the minimum requirements earn the emerald seal. The East Equine Explorers and the Shive Green Team earned their emerald seal.
Awards were also given to 4-H members for their participation in county 4-H events, district 4-H events, Rowan County Fair, horse 4-H events, shooting sports events, and state level events.
During 2012, Rowan County 4-H clubs received much support from the community. Clubs are able to recognize these supporters as “Friends of 4-H.” Earning the “Friends of 4-H” award were Dr. Stephen Furr, Centralina Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, Shive Elementary School, and Southern States. Rowan County 4-H greatly appreciates their support.
The highlight of the evening was recognizing the 4-H’er of the Year. The 4-H Member of the Year is a special award meant to recognize a 4-H member who is outstanding in their club work, leadership, and community service. The recipient of the 4-H Member of the Year Award was Maria Weber. Maria is currently serving as President of the East Equine Explorers 4-H Club, where she has attended the meetings faithfully. She has served as a youth volunteer, leading programs for the clubs and assisting with county summer fun programming. She participated in county level 4-H horse shows, as well as the district 4-H horse show and the St. Jude trail ride. Maria is a member of the East Equine Explorers Flag Drill team that presented colors at the annual Farm City Day event held at Rockwater Farm. She is an eleventh grade student at Gray Stone Day School, where she was inducted into National Honor Society. Maria volunteers with Faithful Friends and traveled to Costa Rica last summer with her Spanish class on a learning and service trip.
Rowan County 4-H is very active. For additional information about upcoming programs or how to start a 4-H club, contact Sara Drake, 4-H Extension Agent, at 704-216-8970. 4-H is the youth development program for North Carolina Cooperative Extension and serves youth ages 5-18.