4-H Achievement Banquet Gets Strong Community Turn-out

By Hope Cather

The Clarke County 4-H Program held their Achievement Banquet on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at the Ruritan Building on the Clarke County Fairgrounds.  Emceed by 4-H members Michaela Garrison and Natalie Wright who were supported by Jake Grove and Hope Cather; the event is held every year to honor and encourage our local 4-H members and leaders.  The building was filled with 4-H decorations, great food, and great people.  Mike Hobert, Barbara Byrd, Barbara Lee,Tony Roper, and Wilson Kirby were several of the local government officials on hand to support the youth and their accomplishments.

Brian Cather, a local veterinarian, was honored with the Clarke County 4-H Leader of the Year award.  During his years as a leader, he has promoted the Poultry Program here in Clarke and donated his services as a veterinarian at the Fair every year.  The club which he leads, Paws n Claws, was also honored as the Banner Club of the Year.  This banner is presented to the club within our county whose members were involved with the most county, district, and state wide competitions; community service opportunities, and Clarke County Fair events as a whole.

Each year the 4-H Leaders Association chooses an Alumni from 4-H who they believe has donated to the program by helping the 4-H members, volunteers, and community by “giving back”.  This year Gary Crim was selected.  A life long farmer and resident of Clarke County; Gary and his wife Lenora have always been there to lend whatever support may be needed during the year, especially fair week. The Association also chooses a Friend of 4-H yearly, someone from the community who has shown support throughout the years to the 4-H program.  This year the award was given jointly to Dr. George Washington of Purcellville and his son, Phillip.  Having practiced veterinarian science in our area for years, the both of them are quick to come to the aid of any 4-Her with a livestock problem. Thanks to all three of these local men for supporting a program which teaches responsibility, goal setting, and empathy for those around us.

The 4-H Family of the Year, which is an award given to the family with great participation from all members in all facets of the Clarke County community, was awarded to John Tiedemann, his wife Ann, and their son John.  The younger John participates in both Goat and Swine Projects, serves on several fair committees as a junior representative, and is very active in his church.  Both of the elder Tiedemanns are always on hand to lend help where ever needed while actively participating in their church, fair week, and the 4-H Leaders Association’s fundraising efforts.

The “I Dare You” award is a national award given by the American Youth Foundation to a Junior in High School who is an extraordinary young person exhibiting both excellent character and leadership skills.  Kiersten Cochran, daughter of Tom and Kim Cochran, was honored with this award.  Kiersten has been involved in 4-H since the age of six, and is always around to lend a helping hand whether for FFA, Relay for Life, or 4-H.  Other Citizenship and Leadership Award recipients were Davey Hardesty, Senior Leadership Award; Catie Hope, Senior Citizenship Award; John Tiedemann, Intermediate Citizenship Award; and Amanda Willis, Intermediate Achievement Award.

Many other young members were honored with various awards for superior fair project completions, participation in various educational opportunities, and superior recordings of their 4-H experience.  Thanks to all who participate; whether by volunteering or being a member!  The Clarke County 4-H Program is very alive and remains very beneficial to our community by educating our children now to be great citizens in the future.