COLUMBUS — For the second year in a row, Ohio 4-H alumni and friends brought home the $20,000 first prize to their local 4-H programs in the National 4-H Council’s Raise Your Hand competition.
With all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., participating through online voting, Ohio 4-H finished in first place with 17,778 hands raised. Runners-up were Nebraska 4-H (14,115) in second place and Kansas 4-H (10,020) in third place.
Ohio 4-H is the statewide youth development program of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“I’ve said that the lyrics of ‘Carmen Ohio,’ the alma mater of The Ohio State University, truly live within our community of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. ‘Time and change will surely show, how firm thy friendship’ applies to our 4-H alumni and supporters as well,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the ag college.
“I consider 4-H to be the first CFAES class youth can take — and am proud that Ohio 4-H once again will benefit due to the overwhelming support of our loyal community,” Kress said.
Neck and neck with Nebraska 4-H
Ohio’s 2018 total “hands raised” eclipsed last year’s winning tally of 11,811 votes. Unlike last year, when Ohio led gate to wire, the Buckeyes found themselves neck and neck with Nebraska 4-H.
Leading up to the last week of the 2018 contest, Nebraska had been ahead by 83 votes. In come-from-behind fashion, the Buckeyes doubled their hands raised in the last week to secure the $20,000 for hands-on learning experiences.
4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, called on alumni and friends to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including 156,000 4-H’ers in Ohio.