The Champaign County Fair recognized its Junior Fair award winners on Sunday at the grandstand ceremonies. Ashton Arnett was crowned this year’s Junior Fair Queen.
Other noteworthy awards went to 4-H Girl of the Year Emily Wilson, 4-H Boy of the Year J.P. Kent, 4-H Advisor of the Year Mary Rose, FFA Girl of the Year Mallary Caudill and FFA Boy of the Year Trace Smail. The Mark Sommers Memorial Award went to Garrett Stickley and Summer Doty.
Mike Melvin of Perpetual Federal Savings Bank was also recognized for his dedication and support of the fair and its youth over the course of his lifetime.
4-H Girl of the Year
Emily Wilson, 18, of Mechanicsburg, was named the 2017 Champaign County 4-H Girl of the Year on Sunday at the Champaign County Fair. She has been a member of 4-H for 10 years and served as a camp counselor for four years. Wilson has been a member of the junior leadership club and has shown poultry, sheep, dogs and swine. She’s been a reserve and grand champion in that time, taking trophies for her poultry, canine care and showmanship.
Emily has served as the secretary, vice president and president of her 4-H club, as well as a member of the Junior Poultry Council and the Junior Fair Board.
Wilson has done a lot for the community during her 4-H service, from garden clean up and poultry barn lackey to placing Memorial Day flags at the graves of veterans.
4-H Girl of the Year candidates were required to submit essays. The following is Emily’s submission:
4-H Girl of the Year Essay
“A person’s character is the qualities they possess that make them who they are. To me, character is very important. Looks might be the first thing people notice about someone, but they are going to remember your character – the way you presented yourself to them.
From as early as I can remember, I was shy. I would hide behind my mother everywhere we went, especially when someone would try and start a conversation with me. Soon after starting school, I acquired more people skills. I was able to converse with people one on one, but I was still too shy to speak in front of a group of people all the way up through Junior High. That soon changed when I became more active in 4-H.
I had been involved in 4-H since I was seven, although it wasn’t until my freshman year that I began to take advantage of all 4-H has to offer. Before my freshman year I was only active in 4-H for fair and camp. I would get my animals, raise them, go to camp, attend club meetings, take my animals to the fair and then not think about 4-H until it was time to begin looking for my next projects the following year. Now I am on the Poultry Council, I have been an officer of our club for the past four years, I am in the Junior Leaders (Leadership Task Force), a Cloverbud Leader, a camp counselor, camp recruiting committee, a Carteens leader and volunteer to do a variety of different community service projects.
My older brother would talk about how much fun 4-H camp was, so I decided to go to the first year I could, my 4th grade year. When I finally got there, I realized I didn’t know anyone and I did not have fun at all. I was too shy to go make any friends and I sat in the back of the group and did not speak. That year, I decided I did not like camp and would not go back. After skipping a year of camp I somehow decided that I would try it again and have went every year after that. I even applied to be a camp counselor for the past three years and each year I have been accepted.
Again following my older brother and doing what he did, I became involved with Junior Leaders. Melinda, our advisor, would require us to do some sort of public speaking at every meeting, even if it was just introducing ourselves. I struggled with this at first but the more I did it, the more confident I became. I even began leading group activities.
I am not involved in many 4-H activities, all because I decided to step out of my box of fear. I decide to be confident and make a few friends along the way. Without 4-H, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I would still be the shy kid I used to be. 4-H has shaped the person I am, in a positive way. 4-H has helped me be an outgoing, confident, reliable, approachable and responsible person. It has truly shaped me and made me the person I am today.
Receiving the 4-H Girl of the Year award would be a great honor. Winning this award would show me and others that even if you do begin as a shy, uninvolved 4-Her, it is never too late to use 4-H to grow, develop and enhance your character. This award is a very high honor and I would be extremely honored if I were to receive it.”
4-H Boy of the Year
John Michael Paul (J.P.) Kent, 17, of Mechanicsburg, was named the 2017 Champaign County 4-H Boy of the Year Sunday at the Champaign County Fair. Kent has been a 4-H member for 12 years and has participated at the state fair half of that time, winning speaking contests along the way. He’s done projects spanning woodworking, gardening and art.
Kent has held the reporter, secretary and president positions for his 4-H club.
J.P. has helped clean up trash around Mechanicsburg and tend to the municipal garden, as well as walking dogs for a local shelter.
4-H Boy of the Year candidates were required to submit an essay. Here is J.P.’s essay.
4-H Boy of the Year Essay
“There are very few programs that can claim to have positively affected as many lives as 4-H. Throughout my life, 4-H has allowed med to gain priceless skills in communication, problem solving, and time management. These skills have prepared me for school, involvement in other extracurricular activities, and a future career. There are three aspects of my 4-H career that have impacted me the most.
I have been fortunate enough to serve my 4-H club as president for the past three years. As president, I am asked to lead meetings and discussions. It is important that I make sure that all voices are heard during discussions. Sometimes this is a challenge because some younger members are afraid to speak in front of the group; however, it is always rewarding to see members proudly share their ideas in front of everyone. These many ideas also make problem solving much easier. For example, our club plans several community service activities throughout the year. One service activity the club enjoyed the most this past year was visiting a local nursing home. This idea was suggested by a member who rarely spoke in front of the group but had several great suggestions. Using all ideas to solve a problem or achieve a goal in a group is a skill I will use throughout my life in post-secondary education and in any career as I work with others.
Before serving as president of my 4-H club and helping others make their voices be heard, I had to learn how to make my own thoughts be heard. For this reason, I began participating in the 4-H Health and Safety Speaking Contest in the fifth grade. The contest allowed me to learn the basics of public speaking and how to properly present my ideas. It also allowed me to discuss issues that were actually affecting my community and hear of issues that were affecting other communities. For example, I was moved to speak about suicide prevention after hearing of its devastating impact in my own community as well as surrounding areas. Presenting the speech made me feel that I was helping people become aware of an issue that could be affecting their family and friends. In the future, I hope to always be given opportunities to spread knowledge and help others, and I know that I will always be able to speak my ideas with confidence.
Woodworking is a project that I have taken since I began 4-H, and it has been a very rewarding activity. Woodworking has allowed me to create many gifts for my friends and family. However, each one of my projects took time and planning. Woodworking requires planning weeks in advance and includes drawing up blueprints, asking for advice from those who have completed similar projects, researching construction techniques, and collecting materials. Finally, I can begin construction which requires me to devote time everyday to my project. Woodworking also builds upon my self-confidence and problem solving skills. I must solve many issues with my project throughout planning and construction, and I also must speak knowledgeably and confidently with a judge while presenting my project at judging. Time management is a skill that I will use as I begin my final year of high school as I am assigned more projects and begin completing college applications. I will also need to be responsible with my time when I begin a future career with multiple deadlines.
I am extremely thankful for the time I have spent in 4-H. From club meetings to public speaking to woodworking, I have gained experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Communication, problem solving, and time management are skills that I have honed in 4-H and will use throughout my life as I prepare for future challenges. For me, receiving the honor of 4-H Boy of the Year would mean that I have amplified all the skills and morals that 4-H has taught me. It would mean that I have taken all the opportunities I have been given in the program and worked toward them wholeheartedly. 4-H is program like no other; therefore, it has impacted me like nothing else I have experienced.”
FFA Girl of the Year
This year’s FFA girl of the year is Mallary Caudill. Mallary is a senior at West Liberty-Salem High School. Residing in Spring Hills, she is the daughter of Dave and Jana Caudill. Throughout her years in FFA she has been a great help serving as reporter, vice president and is this year’s FFA president. Mallary received her state FFA degree in May and is currently working towards her American FFA degree.
Mallary’s Supervised Agricultural Experiences include forage crops, sheep, swine and working on a strawberry farm. She is very dedicated to Wigwam Farms where she raises livestock, along with growing beans, corn and hay with her family members.
Mallary has participated in prepared public speaking, food science, creed speaking and livestock judging – each being at the state level. She has attended state convention, national convention, Ohio Legislative Leadership Conference, FFA leadership camp, district officer training and state officer interviewing, Elementary Ag Science day and Elementary Ag Education week, Lock-In, Adopt-A-Highway, and Meals of Hope. Mallary has been in the top 10 for her chapter fruit sales every year in FFA. Being very dedicated to her community and her selfless attitude, has led Mallary to completing 339 hours of community service, including a mission trip to the Philippines this spring to work with and guide Filipino children and agriculture.
Mallary was selected to be a reporter for the Ohio Ag Net at the 2016 State FFA Convention and an Ohio Farm Bureau ambassador for the Ohio State Fair this year. Mallary’s plans include to pursue continue her education after high school and in addition, to pursue a career in agricultural communications.
FFA Boy of the Year
Trace Smail is a 2016 graduate of Graham High School. He is the son of Kevin and Sheri Smail and resides in Conover. During his years as an FFA member of the A.B. Graham Ohio Hi-Point FFA chapter, he served the chapter as Sentinel. Trace will receive his American FFA Degree this fall at the National FFA Convention.
His Supervised Agricultural Experiences included a corn and soybean entrepreneurship, meat chickens and steers entrepreneurship, job placement at Smail Farms and Huelskamp Drainage and Excavation, and barn painting home improvements. He also managed the school farm for three years.
Trace was member of the Greenhand Quiz, Poultry, General Livestock, Farm Business Management, and Grain Merchandising CDE teams. He attended State Conventions, State Leadership Night, 360 Leadership Conference, New Crop Dodge Event and OSU Hockey Night. He was named Top Fruit Salesman four years in a row. Trace was very active with community service above and beyond what was required to earn his American FFA Degree by participating in Parent Teacher Conferences, Relay for Life, Volleyball Concessions, Holiday Family, and constructing flower boxes for the village of St. Paris.
Trace attends the Ohio State University ATI majoring in Agricultural Systems Management. He will attend ATI again this year and obtain his Associates degree. He will then transfer to The Ohio State University main campus for his bachelor’s degree.
FFA Girl and Boy of the year are selected from their involvement in their FFA chapter, State and National Association. Members’ applications are reviewed for growth in their area of SAE and community involvement. Members must also have earned the State FFA Degree. Interviews are conducted as needed. The FFA Girl of the Year is sponsored by Koenig Equipment and FFA Boy of the Year is sponsored by Farmers Equipment. Each will receive a $1,000 award.
Mark Sommers Memorial Award Recipient
The Mark Sommers Memorial Scholarship Award went to Garrett Stickley and Summer Doty.
Stickley will be attending Ohio State University and majoring in agricultural engineering and judging on the general livestock team. He just finished his junior college judging at Lake Land College in Illinois. While a member of the A.B. Graham Ohio Hi-Point FFA chapter, he served as president and excelled on the general livestock CDE team, advancing to the National Barrow Shows and American Royal.
Stickley was also a member of the farm business management and grain merchandising CDE teams, each finishing in the top 10 in the state. His SAE consisted of breeding swine, hay and placement at Stickley Sycamore Farms.
Doty will attend Wilmington College, majoring in animal science and running cross country. She received her state FFA degree with her SAE in breeding swine. She’s exhibited multiple champion gilts and carried projects in poultry, pumpkins and gourds. She served as her chapter’s president and was a member of the rural soils and general livestock teams.