Barbour 4-H team wins state contest

The Barbour County 4-H Soils Judging Team is the 2013 WV 4-H Land Judging champion and the 2013 W.Va. 4-H Homesite Judging Reserve champion. The Barbour County 4-H soils teams strive to carry on the tradition by winning at the state level and advancing to the national competition in April of 2014. Team members are Mikhela Freeman, Kelton Miller, Chloe Mouser and Nathan Yocum.

In the senior division, Nathan Yocum was the individual top scorer in the land judging and in the homesite judging contest. By being the top scorer with 325 points out of a possible 400 points in the land judging contest, Nathan earned the coveted George Sharpe Award.

Kelton Miller, Chloe Mouser and Mikhela Freeman earned third, seventh and 10th places respectively in land judging with their scores ranging from 317 to 248 points. As top scorer in the Homesite division Nathan Yocum had a score of 394 possible out of 448. Kelton, Mikhela and Chloe earned fifth, sixth and 10th places respectively in the homesite judging contest.

Brandon Poling also competed in the individual competition, placing in the top 13 in both contests. WVU Extension Agent Josh Peplowski and coach, Roger Nestor, said they were pleased with the outcome of the contest and are glad to be headed back to the national level to hopefully take another walk across the stage with a national title.

Barbour County had one team and one individual compete in the Junior division (ages 813). The Barbour Junior “B” team placed third in both Homesite Judging and Land Judging competitions. Junior “B” Team members are Luke Farnsworth, Nathan Baldwin, Gage Poling and Ivy Ward. Junior “B” team members placed individually close to the senior teams. Evelyn McBee-Musgrove rounded out the junior division competing individually and placing 15th in both contests. A total of 10 Barbour County 4-H members competed in these state contests.

The Senior Barbour 4-H team – consisting of Mikhlea Freeman, Kelton Miller, Chloe Mouser and Nathan Yocum – will represent the state of West Virginia in the National 4-H Land and Homesite Judging contests in Oklahoma City, Okla. next April. This win provides the Barbour County 4-H Soils Judging program the opportunity to compete for the national championship for the 13th time in the past 14 years.

Nestor said that he is grateful to have another opportunity to train a team for the national championship and have the new extension agent assisting with the training for the national competition. Nestor is quick to add that, “I don’t train our teams to just try to win. I train them to learn all they can and then give their best effort.”

He added, “Each team member is valued and trained to assess and evaluate the soil and the site, make decisions, communicate and defend their decision, and accept responsibility for the decisions they make all in a teamwork atmosphere.”

Nestor said that fundraising is beginning now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids to become national champions and travel a little over 3,100 miles in our great country. The trip is 11 days, involving six or seven people and will cost about $9,000 to $10,000 considering food, lodging, van rental, fuel, registration and entry fees etc.

He said that Barbour County’s businesses and individuals have been very gracious with their support in past years and he hopes that will be the case again this year. Nestor said that if anyone wishes to make a contribution to the 4-H team, make checks out to Barbour County 4-H Leaders and mail to Rt. 2 Box 158-C, Philippi, 26416. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Josh Peplowski, extension agent at 304-457-3254. Donations to the 4-H program are tax-deductible.