Western Pa. teen is Pennsylvania 4-H State Council president

The 2023 Pennsylvania 4-H State Council team, from left: Avah Burke, events committee, Clarion County; Garrett Franck, communications committee, Union County; Colby Carreon, president, Lawrence and Beaver counties; and Kera Bentz, secretary, Juniata County. (Submitted photo)

DARLINGTON, Pa. — A western Pennsylvania teen will lead the state’s 4-H’ers through the coming year. Colby Carreon, 18, of Beaver County, was selected to be the president of the Pennsylvania 4-H State Council team.

“I’m hoping I can make a positive impact on each 4-H’er I will meet through the year,” Carreon said.

The new state council was announced at the 2023 Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference, held Feb. 3-5 in State College. Also on the state council team are secretary Kera Bentz, of Juniata County; communications committee, Garrett Franck, of Union County; and events committee, Avah Burke, of Clarion County. 

Carreon is a member of the Lawrence County Baby Beef Club where he participates in market steer projects. He’s a senior at Blackhawk High School and the son of Mike and Kelly Carreon, of Darlington Township. 

The duties that come with leading the state’s 4-H organization will have to slide in somehow to Carreon’s already packed schedule. In addition to 4-H, he’s president of the Blackhawk High School FFA chapter. He’s in the welding program at the county’s vocational-technical school. He works after school as a laborer at a local trucking company. He also helps his father and uncle run the family farm.

They raise Angus beef cattle on pasture, with a focus on rotational grazing and using some regenerative practices. They do some grain farming as well. Carreon enjoys it all.

“At times I like the cows. At times I like driving the tractors. And at times I like looking at the grass,” he said. “I’m not a mechanic, so I don’t enjoy working on the tractors.”

He hasn’t decided what he’s doing after high school, yet, although he seems to be tired already of people asking that question. He’s keeping his options open, but it will likely be something work-related. 

His relationship with 4-H got off to a rocky start. The first summer camp he attended when he was 8, he didn’t hate it, but he didn’t love it either, he said. He figured he’d give it another year and try again.

The next year was more fun. As he got older, he kept going to more camps and taking advantage of more leadership opportunities, like being a camp counselor, he said. Eventually he became a senior counselor, which is what led him to the state council. 

When he thinks about why he wanted to become a leader in the organization, he thinks about the 4-H’ers who set the example for him. That’s how he tries to be as a leader.

“They made leadership fun. They were never boring. They were great people to talk to,” he said. 

(Reporter Rachel Wagoner can be reached at 724-201-1544 or rachel@farmanddairy.com.)


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Rachel is Farm and Dairy's editor and a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She married a fourth-generation farmer and settled down in her hometown in Beaver County, where she co-manages the family farm raising beef cattle and sheep with her husband and in-laws. Before coming to Farm and Dairy, she worked at several daily and weekly newspapers throughout Western Pennsylvania covering everything from education and community news to police and courts. She can be reached at rachel@farmanddairy.com or 724-201-1544.



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