For the 93rd year, 4-H members from across Tennessee gathered at the University of Tennessee for State 4-H Roundup and All-Star Conference. The annual event, which took place July 25-29, 2016, recognized the outstanding project work and leadership accomplishments of senior high 4-H members.
Approximately 300 high school age 4-H’ers from across Tennessee met for several days on the UT Knoxville campus where they competed in projects such as communication and public speaking, livestock, computers and technology and photography for college scholarship money and trips to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. The theme for this meeting and for all 4-H programs in 2016 was “Tennessee 4-H: Breaking Barriers and Building Leaders.”
“Teens from all over Tennessee came together, competed in their project areas, learned like skills such as leadership and citizenship, made lifelong friends and had a great time,” said Glenn K Turner, Sevier County 4-H Agent. “Roundup is one of the highlights for our 4-H program. Delegates who attend have spent years of work in their respective project areas.”
In addition to competition, delegates participated in a number of other activities including the 4-H All Star Conference, Vol State Ceremony, the election of the 2017 State Council officers and a service learning project.
Four 4-H members represented Sevier County this year. Delegates included: Olivia Browning, Homeschool Club, State Finalist Level I Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries Project; Lindsey Hedrick, Homeschool Club, State Finalist Level I Nutrition Health and Fitness Project; Christy Newsom, Pigeon Forge High School, State Finalist Level II Photography Project and Nate Sams, Homeschool Club, State Finalist in the Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries Project. Mrs. Ana Sams, from Sevierville, served as adult volunteer leader with the group.
Christy Newsom was named the State Winner in the Level II Photography Project. As a Level II State Winner Christy received a Silver Bowl, a trip to National 4-H Congress and a $1000 college scholarship. Olivia Browning and Lindsey Hedrick were named State Winners in the Level I Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries and Nutrition, Health and Fitness Projects. Level I State winners receive the Horizon Award and a $500 college scholarship to the University of Tennessee. All totaled Sevier County 4-H members received $2000 in college scholarships in 2016.
Additionally Christy Newsom was recognized with the 4-H Vol State Award. The Vol State Award is the highest level of recognition available to Tennessee 4-H All-Star Members. In All Star recognition programs, Sevier County was recognized with the Peggy Davis Service Award as the Eastern Region Winner for completing the most service projects.
Delegates to the 2016 Tennessee 4-H Roundup and All-Star Conference were asked to collect items to benefit children who are currently in the Foster Care System in East Tennessee. Additionally, several 4-H Roundup delegates spent Tuesday morning volunteering at various organizations in the Knoxville area. “Service-learning opportunities are a very important component of the 4-H Program,” said Richard Clark, Assistant Dean and Department Head for Tennessee 4-H Youth Development. “Each year, 4-H’ers statewide perform tens of thousands of hours of service at an estimated value of over $1 million. Through the service-learning projects, our 4-H’ers learn that they can really make a difference in their communities.”
4-H is the Youth Development program for the University of Tennessee Extension. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship and service learning to more than 168,000 youth in the fourth through twelfth grades. 4-H also has more than 6,000 adult volunteers. UT Extension is one of four units in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.
Feature Photo: Sevier County Delegates to the 2016 State 4-H Roundup (from left) – Olivia Browning, Christy Newsom, Lindsey Hedrick, Volunteer Leader Anna Sams, and Nate Sams.