JEFFERSON — In yet another of the changes this pandemic year has wrought, the Jefferson County 4-H program held its first-ever virtual awards presentation, wrapping up the 2019-20 year about a month later than usual.
The first awards to be presented this year were to club officers who submitted officer recordbooks.
Submitting treasurer’s books were the following: Joey Ebel, Jefferson Boosters, Award of Excellence; Ethan Hoyt, Hubbleton Hustlers, Award of Excellence; Connor Price, Sullivan Stars, Award of Excellence; Kaia Heimstreet, Rock Lake Troopers, High Honors; Keegan Rubingh, Palmyra Oak Hill Hustlers, High Honors; and Lillian Kamenick, Rock River Clovers, Merit.
Earning awards for their club secretary books were: Hanna Brattlie, Lake Ripley; Jenna Degner, Hubbleton Hustlers, Olivia Dolph, Rock Lake Troopers, Ellie Ebel, Jefferson Boosters, and Rowan Wilson, Farmington All-Stars, all of whom received Awards of Excellence.
Recognized for their club reporter books were Gracelynn Dolph, Rock Lake Troopers, and Michael Wilson, Farmington All-Stars, both of whom received Awards of Excellence.
Project Awards went out to several members who demonstrated outstanding effort, achievement and leadership in one or more project areas.
Hunter Jacobson of the Twin Rivers 4-H Club earned two project awards, for swine and beef.
Anneka Schuld of Twin Rivers earned two project awards, for poultry and cats.
Kadence Schuld of Twin Rivers earned two project awards, for poultry and swine.
Skyleigh Schroedl of the Cream of the Crop 4-H Club, won honors for her involvement in the beef project.
Michael Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars earned three project awards, in creative writing, arts and crafts, and the performing arts.
Rowan Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars earned two project awards, in creative writing and the performing arts.
Gunnar Sperle of the Lake Ripley 4-H Club won three project awards, for shooting sports, swine and dairy.
Aiden Sperle of the Lake Ripley club received two awards, for the computer project and for swine.
Recognized for submitting Cloverbud recordbooks were three of the younger 4-Hers in the county. Cloverbuds are in kindergarten through second-grade and their recordbooks do not get rated; instead, they earn rainbow Cloverbud awards.
The honorees this year were all from the same 4-H club, Twin Rivers: Autumn and Brody Jacobson and Liam Schuld.
Winning top Special Emphasis speech awards in the spring for their speeches — given via Zoom during the pandemic — were Joey Shoop of the Jefferson Boosters, and Michael Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars, each of whom earned Awards of Excellence.
The poster contest, pushed back several months from its originally scheduled date due to the pandemic, ultimately was judged remotely.
The top poster this year was created by Addison Strobel of Ixonia Victory 4-H Club, whose work will be featured on the program for next year’s awards banquet — which hopefully will be held in person.
Posters were judged by age division.
In Division A for original art, several 4-Hers all received high honors for their submissions: Rowan Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars; Katilin Flood of Ixonia Victory; Ayden Pernat of Ixonia Victory; Landrie Nagel of Ixonia Victory; Michael Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars; Justin Brandel of the South Side Eagles; and Morgan Bauer of Ixonia Victory.
In Division B for enhanced art, several more 4-Hers earned high honors: Joey Shoop of the Jefferson Boosters; Jessica Besch of the Rock River Clovers, Skyeigh Schroedl of Cream-of-the-Crop, Kenna Sterwald of Cream-of-the-Crop, and Lukas Sterwald of Cream-of-the-Crop.
Cloverbuds submitting posters (which are not rated, but win a rainbow Cloverbud award) included Kinsley Strobel, Nathan Flood, Josh Pernat, Jeriah VanRite, and Miranda Bauer, all of whom represent the Ixonia Victory 4-H Club.
Community service is a large part of 4-H and every club requires members to do some level of community service during the course of the 4-H year.
However, not every club fills out the documentation to apply for the “Hands to Larger Service” award, which not only looks at how much community service each club did, but also what percentage of members participated in each community service event.
The six clubs that submitted documentation for the award this year had a total of more than 200 hours of community service.
In first place was the Cream of the Crop 4-H Club, followed by the South Side Eagles 4-H Club, The Rock River Clovers 4-H Club, the Lake Ripley 4-H Club, the Jefferson Boosters 4-H Club, and Ixonia Victory 4-H Club.
Individual 4-H year recordbooks were viewed in categories according to 4-H members’ year in school.
Third-graders honored for their recordbooks included: Henry Ebel, Jefferson Boosters, Award of Excellence; Gracelynn Dolph, Rock Lake Troopers, High Honors; and Scott Mehringer, Lake Ripley 4-H, High Honors.
One fourth-grader was honored: Addison Strobel of Ixonia Victory.
Fifth-graders honored included: Olivia Dolph of Ixonia Victory, Award of Excellence; Joey Ebel, Jefferson Boosters, Honors, and Anneka Schuld, Twin Rivers, Honors.
One sixth-grader was recognized: Michael Wilson, Farmington All Stars, Award of Excellence.
Seventh-graders so honored included: Joey Shoop, Jefferson Boosters, High Honors; Rylee Brattlie, Lake Ripley, Award of Excellence; Aiden Sperle, Lake Ripley, Award of Excellence; Ellie Ebel, Honors; and Kadence Schuld, Honors.
Eighth-graders so honored included: Roald Ager-Hart, Duck Creek 4-H Club, Award of Excellence; Hunter Jacobson, Twin Rivers, Honors; and Connor Price, Sullivan Stars, Honors.
High school freshmen recognized included: Rowan Wilson, Farmington All-Stars, Honors; Hanna Brattlie, Lake Ripley 4-H Club, Award of Excellence; and Gunnar Sperle, Lake Ripley, Award of Excellence.
High school juniors so honored included: Elsa Ager-Hart, Duck Creek 4-H Club, Award of Excellence; and Kayla Price, Sullivan Stars, Honors.
No high school sophomores or seniors turned in recordbooks this year.
Clover Awards were presented to recognize a high level of involvement in 4-H, from club and project meetings to county, state, national and even international opportunities. Each level builds on the one before, and members cannot apply for the next award until they have already earned the one before.
Green Clover Awards, a first-year participation award for which 4-Hers can apply as early as their third-grade year or any subsequent year, went to Gracelyn Dolph of the Rock Lake Troopers, Henry Ebel of the Jefferson Boosters; Ethan Hoyt of the Hubbleton Hustlers, Logan Hoyt of the Hubbleton Hustlers, Hailey Kiedrowski of Ixonia Victory, and Scott Mehringer of the Lake Ripley 4-H Club.
At the next level up, the Bronze Award, were Breanna Buchholz of the Jefferson Boosters, Ellie Ebel and Joey Ebel of the Jefferson Boostrs, Anneka Schuld and Kadence Schuld of the Twin Rivers 4-H Club, and Joey Shoop of the Jefferson Boosters.
The third-level award, the Silver Award, went to: Olivia Dolph of the Rock Lake Troopers, Hunter Jacobson of the Twin Rivers 4-H Club, Lillian Small of Ixonia Victory, Samuel Splinter of the Stone School 4-H Club, and Ella van Zanten of the Jefferson Boosters.
The fourth-level award, the Gold Award, went to: Michael Wilson of the Farmington All-Stars, Victor Evenson of the Lake Ripley 4-H Club, Connor Price of the Sullivan Stars, and Nicole van Zanten of the Jefferson Boosters.
The top-level award, the Emerald Award, went to: Julian Bos of the Rock River Clovers, Rylee Brattlie of the Lake Ripley 4-H Club, Dakota Knapp of Ixonia Victory, Elee Sharp of the Rock River Clovers, Jessica Sharp of the Rock River Clovers, Elliot Small of Ixonia Victory and Aiden Sperle of Lake Ripley.
The Volunteer of the Year award, which goes to an adult volunteer who works tirelessly to provide a high-quality experience to 4-Hers, went to Leila Nordness of Lake Mills.
The Lifetime Volunteer, which recognizes dedicated effort over a period of many years, went to the husband and wife duo of Jone and Allen Walechka.
Recognized as a Friend of 4-H in the community was Watertown Archers, which has been a true champion of 4-Hers throughout the county.
The presentation listed the Jefferson County 4-H Leaders’ Board, which presented the virtual awards.
They included: Alyssa Jaquith, president; Jessica Pfeifer, president-elect; Justin Winkelman, secretary; Susie Schuld; Ashley Schlender; Elizabeth Katzman, youth representative; Cindy Jaquith, past-president; and Kim Kreger.
For those who wish to join 4-H, for young people age 5 through the 13th year (one year after graduation from high school), the online registration period runs through the end of this month. More information is available on the Jefferson County 4-H website (under Extension Jefferson County) and Facebook page.