The annual Randolph County 4-H Visual Presentation and Public Speaking contests were held on May 8 at the Randolph County West Virginia University Extension Office.
4-H'ers competed in a variety of visual presentation and public speaking categories including foods, horses, conservation and dance.
Both Ashlee Bennett and Liam Gongola received $50 awards for their visual presentations. Bennett's purple ribbon visual presentation in the senior division was titled "Horses" and showed her level of expertise on training and caring for horses. "Sushi Does Not Equal Raw Fish" was the title of Gongola's junior division visual presentation in the food preparation area which earned him a purple ribbon.
Winners from the Randolph County 4-H Presentation and Public Speaking contests are, from left, John McCauley, Haleigh Riggleman, Liam Gongola, Evelyn Bennett and Ashlee Bennett.
In the junior division of the public speaking contest, Evelyn Bennett received $50 and purple ribbon recognition on her topic titled, "Highland Dancing." Haleigh Riggleman earned $20 and blue ribbon recognition for her presentation, "Maple Syrup, a West Virginia Treasure." John McCauley was the recipient of the $50 award and red ribbon recognition for his senior division speech, "Native Brook Trout Conservation."
The contests are divided into Junior Division (14 and under) and Senior Division (14 and over). Purple ribbon winners are eligible to represent Randolph County at the West Virginia State 4-H Days, July 24-26, on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.
State 4-H Days allow youths to participate in a variety of state level educational activities that develop their subject matter knowledge, leadership skills and life skills as well as a forum to showcase their communication skills through competition. State 4-H Days educational activities are open to all 4-H'ers in the state.
"What a wonderful way to celebrate 100 years of Extension with amazing young people sharing their knowledge and skills. All of the participants did a wonderful job," said WVU Extension Agent Amanda Johnson. "I believe that these individuals will represent Randolph County well at the state level. It is clear that they are our future movers and shakers."
The monetary awards were sponsored by the American Legion through a grant managed by the Randolph County WV 4-H Foundation. Sheila Johnson, a board member of the Randolph County West Virginia 4-H Foundation, presented the winners with their awards.
Judges for the event were Ellen Spears, Jean Jory and Deborah Stout, with committee members Linda Mullenax and Sheila Johnson serving as auditors. Committee chair Jayme Gongola organized the event, with the help of other committee members Tammy Swecker, Barbara Criss, Jodie Hart, Sheila Johnson and Deborah Stout.
For more information on the 4-H program in Randolph County, email Amanda.Haller@mail.wvu.edu or contact the WVU Extension Office, 32 Randolph Avenue, Suite 102, Elkins, 304-636-2455. Visit the Randolph County Extension Service website at randolph.ext.wvu.edu for additional