Barry County 4-H members showcase life skills

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Barry County 4-H members participated in a wide variety of public speaking and knowledge contests on June 11 at the Barry County Courthouse as part of the Barry County 4-H Achievement Day.

Contests in traditional public speaking endeavors included "Prepared Public Speaking" where youth memorize a five- to seven-minute speech on any topic and "Extemporaneous Speaking" where a topic is drawn the day of the speech and then a five-minute speech is developed.

The overall champion public speaker at the 2013 Barry County Achievement Day was Rachel Bridges, of Washburn, a member of the Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

The 4-H standard demonstration is when a youth explains how to do an activity related to their project area. Youth prepare demonstrations to share their project area knowledge throughout the year with members of their 4-H club. The overall champion demonstration was given by Savanna Gunter, of Purdy, a member of the Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Project judging is a 4-H evaluation tool, where a knowledge test is administered and then members are asked to evaluate a class of four items, based on a scenario. The member then gives a verbal explanation of why they ranked the items the way they have, also known as reasons.

"Project judging is unique to 4-H," said Jeremy Elliot-Engel, a 4-H youth specialist with University of Missouri Extension. "This evaluation process not only measures knowledge, but expects students to apply what they have learned through their project work in a real life setting."

The top 10 project areas in Missouri are given evaluations at the county competition.

Overall champion in foods project judging was Erika Bridges, of Washburn, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Overall champion in cake decorating project judging was Maranda Gunter, of Purdy, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Overall champion in horse project judging was Dylan Bridges, of Washburn, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

"I remember when I was in middle school and scared about public speaking," said Becky Wogoman, administrative assistant for Barry County MU Extension. "It is great that members are stepping up and sharing what they know now, it will only get easier."

"Our members continue to grow, learn and be successful at all levels of learning and competition," said Elliott-Engel.

Top contestants can now start preparing for competition with the 17 southwest Missouri counties at Regional Achievement Day in July at Springfield

For information on 4-H, contact Elliott-Engel at 417-455-9500.

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