As summer comes to a close, our 4-H program calendar year ends. As always, the year has been filled with many great achievements and accomplishments for our 4-H youth members. It is truly amazing to see the amount of learning and growth they make from one year to the next.
The Colorado State Fair in Pueblo concluded on Labor Day. I would like to highlight some of our local youths who participated.
We are happy to announce Bennett Esterday received the Grand Champion Award in the state for his gardening project. Bennett has been in 4-H for three years and is a member of the Animas Valley 4-H Club. We are excited to have a young green thumb representing our county.
Also from the Animas Valley 4-H Club, McKenzie Albright had another great year at the state fair. She earned a qualifier ribbon in the Creative Cooks contest, sixth place for her quilting project and fourth place in the interpretive reading contest. McKenzie said it was great to see friends from other counties whom she had met at past state fairs.
The Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports contests at the state fair are always competitive. Each discipline has between 75 and 125 4-H members competing.
Some notable shooting sports members are Zane Pontine with the Generations 4-H Club, Maddie Stephenson with the Mountains Shadows 4-H Club and Lanston Howard with the Pine River 4-H Club.
Zane and Maddie participated in the archery limited intermediate division. Zane placed ninth and Maddie placed fifth, respectively.
Lanston competed in the muzzleloader category and placed 11th overall in the state. He also earned reserve grand champion for the shooting-sports display board he entered in general projects.
La Plata County is also proud of our livestock members who competed at the state fair. We have a strong reputation in our area for producing great animals, and this year, it really showed at the state level.
Shaylee Owen with the Pine River 4-H Club exhibited cattle. She had the Champion OPB heifer in the Junior Heifer Show and was able to participate in the Supreme Heifer Show along with Maryann Fassett and Kaleb Lee with the Florida Four Leaf 4-H Club.
Bristol Lesky with the County Line 4-H Club had a great state fair. She was named champion junior beef showman and won a belt buckle. She also made the grand drive with her market steer, as she was first in her class and also had a third-place steer. Bristol was one of three kids from La Plata County to make the livestock sale as well. At the state fair, she was also recognized by the Colorado Junior Swine Association as the champion novice showman for the 2019 circuit and fifth overall in the Duroc breed and reserve champion in their novice skill-a-thon.
The other two La Plata County 4-H members to make the state livestock sale were Taylor Jenkins with the Ignacio Westerners and Brock Fassett with the Florida Four Leaf 4-H Club. This is a major accomplishment for their hard work.
No matter where our youth members place, we are more appreciative of the young leaders they are all becoming. The La Plata County 4-H program takes great pride in knowing we are producing great people through the dedication and commitment they give to their projects and greater community.
New enrollment for the 2019-20 4-H year starts in October. Come join the fun.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at email@example.com or 382-6463.Greg Felsen