The Columbia County 4-H Awards Program was held Sept. 26 at Collipp-Worden Park in Portage.

Jen Martens, 4-H Leaders Association President and master of ceremonies, facilitated the awards program during which 4-H members received awards in the following areas — 4-H project & overall 4-H record book; self-achievement; county team member; ambassador; and elected youth representatives.

The 4-H members winning awards were Amelia Heider (Lodi), Braden Breneman (Pardeeville), Gwen Hahn (Cambria), Cedona Bertram (Arlington/DeForest), Gretta Hahn (Cambria), Bristol Ringelstetter (Arlington/DeForest) and Lilly Bertram (Arlington/DeForest)

In addition to 4-H member awards, Friend of 4-H awards were presented to the 2020 and the 2021 Friends of Columbia County 4-H. The 2020 awards were included since there was no awards program last year.

The Friend of 4-H Appreciation Award is given annually to a person or business outside of 4-H for outstanding contributions to the Columbia County 4-H program. The 2020 Friend of 4-H Appreciation Awards were presented — one to the Columbia County Master Gardeners, represented by Ardyce Piehl, and the other to Paul and Mary Becker of rural Rio. Columbia County 4-H appreciates the educational sessions offered by the Master Gardeners in the areas of flowers, houseplants and vegetables. Appreciation was also expressed to the Beckers for their many years of volunteerism in Columbia County as well as their support of the Columbia County Fair.

The 2021 Friend of 4-H Appreciation Award was presented to Alsum Farms and Produce for their support of the 2021 4-H Eat Stand, the main fundraising tool for Columbia County 4-H program. Without their support, the 4-H Eat Stand would not have been able to keep food cooled to the proper temperatures.

The Friend of 4-H Volunteer Award is given annually to a 4-H leader(s) for outstanding contributions to 4-H on the county level. The 2020 Friend of 4-H Volunteer Awards were given to Joni Farrington of the Inch True Blues 4-H Club, as well as AmyJo Cross and Lynnette Taylor of the Columbia County 4-H and Youth Livestock Committee.

Farrington’s efforts in organizing and carrying out the operation of the Columbia County 4-H Model Horse program (Inside Horse) as well as contributions to the county’s 4-H Horse Council are greatly appreciated. Cross and Taylor have served countless hours on the Livestock Committee making sure the Sale of Champions during the Columbia County Fair goes off without a hitch.

The 2021 Friend of 4-H Volunteer Award was given to Carrie Williams of the Lodi Challengers 4-H Club and past president of the Columbia County 4-H Horse Council. Williams worked extensively with the Horse Council during her time as a 4-H volunteer and she and her family helped to see the horse arena relocation project conclude successfully.

For more information about this 4H Celebration and Recognition Program or anything else about Columbia County 4H and Youth Development Programs, please contact the Columbia County UW-Extension Office at 608-742-9680.

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