Union County 4-H’ers Earn Top Honors at State 4-H Congress

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11221671_10153569523777009_5686664993254239447_n (1)Two Union County 4-H’ers won gold at the recent State 4-H Congress. This year’s 4-H Congress, held in Raleigh July 18-21, attracted 518 young people and their adult leaders for activities including presentations on a variety of subjects, leadership and citizenship training, service opportunities, officer elections and more.

Shelby Goforth, 13, daughter of Richard and Joy Goforth of Monroe, won the 11- to 13-year-old division of the bugs and bees competition with her presentation, “Beneficial Insects in North Carolina.”

Fiona Walsh, 13, daughter of Phyllis Walsh-Kesling ofVZM.IMG_20150718_213019 (1) Monroe, won the 11- to 13-year-old division of the companion animals competition with her presentation about bearded dragons, entitled “The Dragon’s Lair.”

Union County had nine additional 4-H’ers who won various medals during the state presentations. These youth include: Ellie O’Connell, who won bronze for the 9-10 age category in the open class; Joy Dygowski, who won silver for the 9-10 age category in the health and fitness class; Christopher Bernash, who won bronze for the 9-10 age category in poultry production; Arwen Scienski, who won bronze for the 9-10 age category in environmental science; Madison Evans and Mikayla Tsiukes, who won bronze in the 11-13 age category in Citizenship and Community Service; Gavin Tsiukes, who won silver in public speaking; Kyle Stokes, who won silver in careers in entrepreneurship; and Charity Haren, who won bronze in the 14-18 age category in Fruit and Vegetable Use.

Miles Byrd, son of Julian and Laura Byrd of Matthews, was a state winner in the AIRE competition. AIRE – Application, Resume, Interview, and Essay competition is a four-step process by which youth are chosen to attend national 4-H events including National Congress, National Conference, and International Leadership Conference. Byrd will attend the National 4-H Congress this year in Atlanta.

The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 232,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 20,563 adult and youth volunteers.

– Written by Suzanne Stanard, 919-513-3126 or suzanne_stanard@ncsu.edu and Crystal Starkes, 704-283-375 or crystal_starkes@ncsu.edu