The combination of two annual programs on November 7 at the 4-H Center on the Warren County Fairgrounds made for a dynamic evening of celebrating accomplishments. Rotary 4-H Achievement Night and Penn State Extension Annual Meeting acknowledged the support and dedication of many volunteers and members to make the Extension programs sustainable in the county.
The evening began with Rotarian and Mistress of Ceremony, Dr. Sathya Lingaraju-Durkac introducing the Rotarians in attendance. The 4-H Development Fund Board and Penn State Extension Board were also introduced along with the recognition of County Commissioner, Steven Vanco. Extension Board President, Cynthia Paulmier, reviewed the details of three individuals seeking election to the board. Anne Hernandez, David Manning, and Kathy Sears were each elected. The Penn State Extension board honored the Warren County Dairy Promotion Committee for their stewardship of the dairy industry and continual support of Extension.
The program entitled, Extension Then and Now, was presented by District Director Jeffrey T. Fowler. Mr. Fowler detailed how Penn State Extension has evolved. With a family history tied closely to Extension, Jeff explained the subtly that has affect programming and the large innovations in technology that have occurred since his grandfather, father, and uncle were Extension Agents (Educators). Although the style of programming has evolved, the dedication to agriculture and the people of the Commonwealth is still the priority to Penn State Extension.
Taking top honors for her agricultural leadership, Tara Sleeman is the 2013 Rotary Agricultural Trophy winner.
The remainder of the evening celebrated the accomplishments of the Warren County 4-H members. This year's Rotary 4-H Agricultural Trophy was awarded to Tara Sleeman of Russell. She is the daughter of Matthew and Heather Wilcox. Tara detailed that 4-H is not just a way of life but an outstanding program that has so much to share with anyone who is just willing to try something new and be involved. This year she organized 4-H programming for youth in grades 6-8th at Eisenhower Middle/High School. She rallied fellow 4-H members to help her teach students where their food comes from, factual information regarding farm animals that live in the surrounding area, new technology including alternative energy sources and more. Tara's commitment and dedication have developed her into a 4-H Ambassador for Warren County.
The male Watts Outstanding 4-H'er award was given to Alex Barnett of Warren, and a member of the Shamrock Sheep Club. He is described by his leaders as a young man willing to help no matter the task. He is eager to lend a hand and finds creative ways to accomplish tasks.
The female Watts Outstanding 4-H'er award went to Anna Royek of Corry, and a member of the Udder Club. Described as a conscientious young lady who gives freely of her time, Anna was the president of the Udder Club and a mentor for the younger members. She has also been a member of the Warren County Junior Dairy Bowl Team.
The 2013 Roll of Distinction/ Friend of 4-H Award was presented to Mark Hurst, pastor, with the Lander United Methodist Church. In the last six years, the Lander United Methodist Church has graciously opened its doors to the 4-H clubs across the county. The Udder Club, Ham Handlers, Shamrock Sheep and the 4-H Teen Council have used the facility to organize and facilitate youth programs.
The "I Dare You" awards are given to a male and female to challenge them to use their leadership skills as they grow. Winners were Kyle Braswell and Katie Downs both of Bear Lake. Kyle's leaders stated that he is eager to learn and willing to support others in the club. He is a determined young man and listens to find ways to improve not only with his dairy projects but any project undertaken by the club. Katie, in only her second year as a 4-H member, has stepped up to the challenge of being the club secretary and news reporter. She worked diligently to let the public know what the Ruff Riders were up to all year long.
The Perschke Clover Award for Leadership Development was given to Curtis Royek of Corry. The memorial award was pre