October 15, 2020
By: Leigh Fuson
In a typical year, 4-H members from across Tennessee would have gathered at an annual event called “Roundup” at either UT Knoxville or UT Martin. During Roundup, youth participate in service projects, leadership and teambuilding activities, and have lots of fun with their friends from across the state. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately this was not able to happen. Another big part of TN 4-H Roundup is the awards ceremony where project winners are recognized and thousands of dollars in scholarship money is awarded.
In order to still recognize these hardworking youth, a virtual ceremony was held on October 1st and aired on the Tennessee 4-H Facebook page. Among these individuals were three Dekalb County 4-H members: Clayton Crook, Jacklyn Kleparek, and Lily Martin. These youth completed a project portfolio last spring in their respected subject areas. Crook, a 2020 DCHS graduate, was named a state finalist in the Beef project and Martin, current Senior, in Nutrition, Health, and Fitness. Kleparek, a current Sophomore at DCHS, was named the Level 1 state winner in the Electric project and receives the Horizon Award. This pyramid shaped trophy symbolizes a 4-H’ers quest to explore new horizons as they develop life skills. It also comes with a $500 scholarship to UTK or UTM. This was DeKalb County 4-H’s first state project winner in almost ten years!
Another special ceremony also takes place at 4-H Roundup and was replaced with a virtual event: Vol State. Vol State is the highest level of recognition that a 4-H member can achieve in Tennessee 4-H. Recipients must be an active Honor Club and All-Star member and be recommended by their 4-H Agent. This year, there were 68 new Vol State recipients, including Lily Martin. Lily has been an active 4-H member since the 4th grade. Among her accomplishments are being on the state winning Outdoor Meat Cookery Team, state and national winning Poultry Judging team, attending the National Healthy Living Summit in Washington D.C., and serving as the DeKalb County Healthy Living Ambassador.
Although these awards were given out differently this year, they are still an honor to receive and have required a lot of hard work and dedication. Congratulations to these DeKalb County 4-H members! To learn more about 4-H and how you can get involved, please call 615-597-4945 or email email@example.com. 4-H is a proud part of UT/TSU Extension, the UT Institute of Agriculture, and the TSU Cooperative Extension Program. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments. Programs are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.