Wayne County honors 4-H leaders at banquet


ORRVILLE, Ohio — When it comes to making the best better, no one does it better than Wayne County 4-H volunteers, according to Bob Troutman, president of the Wayne County Agricultural Society and a former extension educator and 4-H volunteer.

Troutman told the audience at the 2008 Wayne County 4-H recognition banquet that while the appearance of the Budweiser Clydesdales made this year’s fair special for a lot of people, the time and effort put forth by the 4-H volunteers plays a major part in making the Wayne County Fair a premier event.

“You are a big part of our fair,” he said. “We appreciate what you do.”

Service award

During the banquet, the Wayne County 4-H program took the opportunity to recognize a long time friend of 4-H by presenting the 2008 Meritorious Service Award to the Wayne County Granges, represented by Gene Shisler, Wayne County deputy master, and Joanne Baker, Wayne County junior deputy.

In presenting the award, Sherry Nickles noted that the grange is America’s oldest agricultural organization, founded in 1867 at the close of the Civil War to help rebuild the south and to aid the rural population in both the north and south. It did so by initiating rural mail delivery, lobbying for interstate highway programs and pushing for the formation of USDA.

The grange fostered creation of the Extension service and secured legislation to establish the agricultural experiment stations and the vocational agriculture program.

The first grange in Wayne County was established in 1874 and has been a strong supporter of both Wayne County’s 4-H and FFA programs ever since by providing meeting places, volunteers and financial resources.

For the past 74 years, the grange’s major contribution to the program has been hosting the annual recognition banquet for members and volunteers.

Young leaders

The Excellence in 4-H Award is always a highlight of the banquet, as the award recognizes members who have excelled in both leadership and their project areas during their 4-H careers. This year, Jason Miley, Kyle Schirm and Lacey Uhler were selected to receive the award.

Miley is the son of Joe and Diana Miley of West Salem and a sophomore at Ohio State University majoring in animal science. He has been a member of Cream of the Crop 4-H club and has taken dairy projects.

He has been a member of the dairy quiz bowl team and the dairy judging team, including the state 4-H and FFA teams. Miley credits his 4-H involvement with helping him learn to fit and show his dairy animals, which will help him in his career choice of fitting and showing cattle.

Schirm is the son of Paul and Dawn Schirm of Wooster and a senior at Northwestern High School. He is a member of Blue Ribbon Dairy 4-H club and has taken dairy, swine and poultry projects. Schirm has been a junior leader, junior fair board member, junior camp counselor, interstate exchange team member and dairy judging team member.

He feels that 4-H has taught him responsibility and showring ethics.

Uhler is the daughter of Dave and Carol Uhler of Wooster and a senior at Triway High School. She is a member of Springville Country Club and has taken beef, swine and cooking projects. She has been a junior leader, junior fair board member, junior camp counselor, interstate exchange team member and food and fashion board member.

Uhler credits 4-H with teaching her respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship and leadership. She added that it has made her competitive to a level of good sportsmanship and given her courage and confidence. And the best part, according to Uhler, is she had fun learning these things.


Four teens were also recognized for their contributions to the Wayne County Junior Leadership program, as they were named as the 2008 Outstanding Junior Leaders. Shelbie Aylsworth, Jared Bardall, Paul Gordon and Uhler were recognized for their involvement in the program, work with younger members and leadership skills.

Gordon was recognized as the most improved in oral reasons on the dairy judging team, while Ali Mangun was recognized as the most improved junior.

County Medal Awards were presented to Diane Gress, Eileen Gress, Zachary Williams, Kristen Davies, Amy Rehm, Uhler, Julie Gress, Courtney Gasser, Nicole Berry, Victoria Devore, Becca Ebert, Jerrin Hill, Alyssa Mack, Gordon, Brandon Meier, Logan Meier, Devin Bodager, David Devore, Andrea Stahl, Kimberly Koczur, Mark Gordon, Megan Markley, Ryan Markley, Kaitlin Markley, Baily Hardin, and Madison Hardin.

This year for the first time, the county also recognized several Clubs of Distinction. These clubs were selected based on their activities, and community service projects. They included Burbank Livestock, Cream of the Crop, Apple Creek Wide Awake, Canaan Hoof and Hide, Congress 4-H, Country Acres, Canaan Country Cousins, Wayne County Hoof and Hide and Smithville Shepherds.

Silent auction

During the evening, live and silent auctions were held to benefit the Hugh Kline Endowment Fund. This fund is used to provide financial resources for the county’s 4-H programs and activities including trips for members, mini grants for club projects, books purchases and award sponsorships. The auction totaled $1,747.


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Freelance writer Susan Mykrantz has been writing for Farm and Dairy since 1989. She is a graduate of the ag college at Ohio State University and also serves as editor of the "Ohio Jersey News." She lives in Wayne County.



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