By Matt de Simone
Last Friday night, the Botetourt County 4-H held their inaugural Achievement Night at Central Academy Middle School. Botetourt 4-H Extension Agent Tyler Painter welcomed the students, parents, and community members as 4-H Teen Leadership Club President Paul Theimer acted as the night’s master of ceremonies.
4-H recognized students who achieved success in five different clubs throughout the evening. Currently, Botetourt County 4-H has nine various clubs.
Painter shared his thoughts on the students’ progress and his admiration for the efforts of the different clubs over the past two years dealing with pandemic-related delays and cancelations.
“We are proud and honored to have the community involvement in the 4-H programs, and your impacts on the local, state, and national levels do not go unnoticed,” Painter said to those in attendance. “I’m encouraged by the output of our clubs and our program as a whole.”
Painter thanked the club leaders and the parents for their efforts in helping out with their children’s participation in 4-H throughout the year.
Mike Wolfe, Emily Beavers-Zollman, and Painter presented awards to the students.
The event’s keynote speaker, Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Khari Ryder, shared his thoughts on the students’ progress in the program and his thoughts about 4-H. Ryder grew up in 4-H and holds a special place in his heart for the organization and what it did for him as a youth.
“Without 4-H, I would not prescribe to the servant leadership style that I use to lead the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce,” Ryder stated. “I would not be here tonight talking to you—my club, my community, right here in my country and in my world—sharing with you how my leaders shared with me, and I am sure yours do with you. They are hoping to make you the next leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, farmers, and best humans that you can be.”
Throughout the night, students from different clubs were recognized for their achievements.
Teen Leadership Club
Camp Teen Leaders: Hannah Barrett, Chloe Beasley, Olivia Cook, Darson Daughtridge, Deanna Draper, Rachel Edwards, Iain Graff, JJ Halsted, Parker Hudson, Holly Hylton, Ayden Kinion, Addison McCaleb, Nathan Patterson, Carson Peery, Tucker Peery, and Paul Theimer
Bronze Clover (Rookie Teen Counselor Award) – Hannah Barrett
Gold Clover (Outstanding Teen Counselor Award) – Addison McCaleb
Outgoing Officers: Parker Hudson – President, Brielle Jackson – Vice President, Chloe Beasley – Secretary, Iain Graff – Treasurer, and Addison McCaleb – Reporter/Historian
Project Book Completion – Emma Jo Williams and Wyatt Williams
Drew Whitson – Recognition for evolving and excelling in beekeeping and ongoing excellent leader of our club voted on by her peers annually.
4-H Horse and Pony Club
Outgoing Officers: Rachel Buchanan – President, Billie McClung – Vice-President, Jeanna Keith – Secretary, and Ashley Wilmer – Treasurer
Billie McClung – Achievement for serving as a Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassador
Ashley Wilmer – Achievement for competing in the 4-H VA State Horse and Pony Championship Show
4-H Livestock Club
Outgoing Officers: Iain Graff – President, Schylar Zollman – Vice President, Lincoln Kellerman – Secretary, Sawyer Zollman -Treasurer, and Ephraim Kellerman – Reporter/Historian
Project Book Completion: Schylar Zollman – Market Goat Activity Project Book and Market Hog Activity Project Book, Stella Zollman – Bucket Calf Activity Project Book, and Kayla Henry – Poultry Activity Project Book
4-H Shooting Education Club
Jacob VanNess – Achievement for qualifying for the VA 4-H Shotgun Development Team and competing in the National 4-H Shooting Education Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska.