The Champaign County Fair recognized its Junior Fair award winners on Sunday at the grandstand ceremonies. Lora Current was crowned this year’s Junior Fair Queen. She is the daughter of Chad and Dana Current of rural DeGraff in Adams Township.
Other noteworthy awards went to 4-H Girl of the Year Elizabeth Schipfer, 4-H Boy of the Year Jack Harris, 4-H Volunteer of the Year Karen Price, FFA Girl of the Year Summer Doty and FFA Boy of the Year Gus Hoewischer. The Mark Sommers Memorial Award went to Zach Potts.
4-H Girl of the Year
The 2018 4-H Girl of the Year is Elizabeth Schipfer. Elizabeth is the daughter of John and Marlo Schipfer. She is a 12-year 4-H member. Elizabeth is a member of the Mechanicsburg Leaders and Feeders 4-H Club. Her 4-H projects have included market hogs, cake decorating, cooking, model rocketry and financial planning. She held the offices of news reporter, health reporter, treasurer, secretary and president in her 4-H club over the years. Along with her 4-H Club, Elizabeth volunteers to clean up trash and recycle what they can at the Goshen Memorial Park in Mechanicsburg. She has also volunteered with the mobile food pantry, handing out boxed lunches, and she assisted along with other club members to plant and maintain the garden outside the local fire station June-August.
Elizabeth has won awards throughout her 4-H career with her swine projects, including Junior and Intermediate showmanship awards, 2nd place in the swine herdsman intermediate division. She was named Outstanding Camper of the Week when she was a camper at 4-H camp. She was a state fair finalist in cooking and Teen’s Road to Financial Success. She also caught a scramble pig and brought it back the following year to win second place.
Elizabeth served as a 4-H camp counselor, participated in 4-H Junior Leadership Club and Junior Pork Council. Elizabeth attributes her 4-H participation to shaping who she is now and looks forward to take all she has learned into adulthood.
4-H Boy of the Year
The 2018 4-H Boy of the Year is Jack Fredrick Harris. Jack is the son of Steve and Sarah Harris. Jack has been involved in 4-H for 7 years. He is a member of the Pork Chops 4-H Club. Jack’s projects have included Archery, Turkeys, Geese, and Chickens. He has been president of both his 4-H club and the Jr. Poultry Council. He has served as the health and safety officer in his 4-H club. Jack along with his club has done service learning projects by spending time with the elderly in nursing homes, leading a first responders appreciation activity and, as part of the Junior Leadership Club, he participated in 4-H Growing Youth to Youth program, mentoring younger members through a service learning project of growing vegetables for less fortunate youth in the county to take home and teaching them the skills to grow their own backyard gardens.
Jack participated in 4-H School Awareness programs, planning and teaching at poultry clinic. He enjoys mentoring and teaching others. Jack has participated in the Junior Leadership Club, Jr. Poultry Council, Jr. Pork Council, and participated in state fair and represented Champaign County on the state level in Basic Archery. Jack also participated in a 4-H Exchange Program with Cuyahoga County. This rural/urban exchange was eye opening for participants.
Jack is most excited in his last year of 4-H because he has always wanted to see a market turkey class at the county fair and this year, although it is his last to show, he will be able to exhibit and show market turkeys in his 4-H career.
4-H Volunteer of the Year
The 2018 4-H Volunteer of the Year is Karen Price. Karen has been an advisor for 15 years, and prior to that she grew up at the Champaign County Fair. She is the head advisor for the Crit R Dun 4-H Club and the head goat advisor for the club. This is no small task with 60 4-H members. Karen puts her heart and soul into making sure the kids learn something and have fun at their meetings. All of her project advisors in her club speak highly of Karen’s organization skills and of her passion in teaching the kids and making sure they have a positive 4-H experience.
Karen has served on the 4-H Committee. In 2015, Karen made all the 175th fair plaques sold by the 4-H Committee. She was one of the initial founders of the Goat Council and was the first advisor for the Jr. Goat Council.
From the county level to the state level, somehow Karen is involved. She organizes the Boer Goat Shows at the Ohio State Fair, is instrumental in the Midwest Wether Goat Series and keeps things running smoothly on the county side of fair, including pen assignment, ordering awards, and organizing some of the shows.
Karen’s hard work and dedication to the 4-H Program and the Boer Goat Industry is much appreciated and does not go unnoticed.
FFA Girl of the Year
Summer Doty is a 2017 graduate of Triad High School. She is the daughter of Doug and Sarah Doty, who reside in Cable. During her years in FFA Summer held the offices of Treasurer, Reporter, Secretary, and Vice President. She received the Star Chapter Farmer Award from the Triad FFA Chapter. She received her State Degree in 2017 and will receive her American Degree this fall.
Her Supervised Agricultural Experiences have consisted of raising and selling pumpkins, working on the family farm, breeding and selling show pigs, and showing hogs at the fair, winning Grand Champion Market Gilt on three occasions. She is also a multiple winner of the Swine Herdsman Award. Summer also served on the Junior Pork Council for several years.
Summer was a member of the Soils and General Livestock Judging teams. She attended State and National FFA Conventions, State Leadership Night, and Champaign County Administration Dinner. Summer completed over 80 hours of community service with Community Blood Center, Barely Used Pets, and other local civic organizations.
Summer will be entering her sophomore year at Wilmington College in Wilmington, where she is majoring in Animal Science. She is also a member of the cross-country team. Upon graduation from Wilmington, Summer plans to work in the livestock industry.
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. She will receive a $1,000 award.
FFA Boy of the Year
Gus Hoewischer is the son of Jaymes and Maria Hoewischer of Mechanicsburg. Gus is a 2017 graduate of Mechanicsburg High School.
While in FFA Gus was an officer for the Chapter as well as a very active member. His SAE consisted of showing steers and one of his projects was a scramble steer that he caught in 2014. Gus’s main SAE was job placement. While in high school Gus began working for McGuire Ag of Urbana. While working there his responsibilities consisted of grain handling, equipment care, harvesting and general farm labor. This SAE led Gus to receive his State Degree in 2017. Upon graduation from high school Gus took a “leap of faith” and followed a dream he always wanted to pursue. Gus went out west and participated in the wheat harvest with Johnson Harvesting Incorporated. In June of 2017 he left for Texas to meet up with his crew that he would be working with for many hours a day and for the next few months. The harvest took him from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and finishing up in Montana. A typical day was working 16 to 20 hours, then get some rest, and wake up and do it again. As a result of this adventure Gus will be receiving his American Degree this October at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Gus also participated in Career Development Events while at Mechanicsburg. He was on the Dairy Judging team all 4 years. In three of those years they finished in the top 10 in the State, hanging a banner for 5th place in 2016 and also being the State Champion team in Oral Reasons. Gus also participated on the Tractor Troubleshooting team in which he qualified for the District contest in 2017.
Gus attended State Convention all 4 years as well as National Convention. He also attended Leadership Nights and many other banquets representing Mechanicsburg. Gus also assisted with the countywide “Meals of Hope” in 2017 where 80,000 meals were packaged for needy families. He volunteered for the Cancer Association of Champaign County for their “Tour of Homes” as well as participated in the annual Christmas Parade in Mechanicsburg. He also thoroughly enjoyed visiting the classrooms of our pre-school to read and share stories with them.
While being this active Gus also found time to volunteer over 100 hours to the St. Michael’s Church food bank in Mechanicsburg.
Gus currently resides in Mechanicsburg and is working for Spring Fork Farms.
FFA Boy of the Year is sponsored by Farmers Equipment. He will receive a $1,000 award.
Mark Sommers Memorial Award Recipient
Zach Potts, a graduate of Graham High School, was the recipient of the Mark Sommers Memorial Scholarship Award.
The award goes to a student with strong ties to the community and its agricultural roots, who represents the highest ideals of sportsmanship and ethics.
Potts attends Western Illinois University and has shown sheep at the Champaign County Fair.