Monday, July 27, 2020

Virtual 2020 Home, Farm, & Garden Youth Showcase

Orange County youth have the opportunity to exhibit home, farm, and garden entries in a virtual county fair experience in August, so get your cameras ready! This event is open to youth ages 5-18 who reside or attend school in Orange as well as those who typically compete in the annual Orange County Fair. 

The virtual home, farm, and garden fair will feature photographs of youths’ work in agriculture, gardening, arts and crafts, textiles, and photography. Each category offers over 25 class options, so whether you’re growing prize-winning zinnias, giant watermelons, or have made your own no-sew fleece blanket for the winter, youth will be sure to find entries. 

Each item must be photographed and uploaded on the contest site by Wednesday, August 19. Exhibits must have been completed since the last county fair, so think of things you made in school or created while home during the COVID pandemic. Maybe you have the tallest sunflower or the prettiest tomatoes! Maybe you beaded a beautiful bracelet or assembled an eye-catching model car. All of these can be entered in the virtual home, farm, and garden contest.

Each youth may enter up to 12 items, and ribbons will be awarded to youth ages 9-19. Youth ages 5-8 will receive ribbons, but will not be judged competitively. The virtual opportunity is made possible by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Orange County 4-H, and the Orange County Fair Association. There is no charge to participate and 4-H membership is not required.  A google form for sign ups will be forthcoming. 

For additional information, please call 672-1361. 
For rules and classes, check out Virtual 2020 Home, Farm, & Garden Youth Showcase

Friday, July 24, 2020

Senior Leah Call Credits 4-H With Helping Her Overcome Her Fear of Public Speaking

“Try new things even if they seem scary at first!” Leah Call, a 17 year old recent homeschool graduate took this advice and has enjoyed what came from it ever since. 


Leah has been a member of the Orange Dairy Club for four years now, but wasn’t always as enthusiastic about it as she is now. She decided to join the club after her younger brother, Levi, found an interest in cows and joined. Initially, she just had to tag along with him at the meetings and join him when he went to the fairs, but after experiencing the club for herself, she fell in love with it. Leah ended up joining 4-H the next year, and has been an extremely active member ever since. She was most recently the Secretary of the club, and has done enough activities to be tapped as a 2020 4-H All Star. Becoming an All Star is one of the greatest achievements of any 4-Her, and takes time, dedication, and lots of commitment to become one.


As Leah looks back on her time within the organization, she remembers all the great times she had with her friends, family, and animals. These include working in the dairy club milkshake shack, showing at local and state fairs, and working the Southeast Dairy Youth Retreat, a conference hosted in Orange for over 80 youth from seven states in 2019! She truly believes that 4-H has helped her get over her fear of public speaking, as there are many instances where members meet new people and participate in activities where it is required to present. She also has grown in leadership skills and knowledge, applying these abilities to her school, extracurriculars, and community. 


Outside of 4-H, Leah enjoys figure skating, reading, and volunteering in her local community. Her future plans include attending Piedmont Virginia Community College to achieve her Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree. She has shadowed at Martha Jefferson Hospital to gain experience in the field, and looks forward to the day she will be a sonographer.


“Stick with your 4-H and you’ll do great things,” Leah says. “And try new clubs! I had never been around cows or dairy farms, but I fell in love with the dairy industry all thanks to my little brother loving the Goodwin Dairy cows at the county fair.” Thank you, Leah, for your inspiration and advice. Best of luck to you as you pursue your passion of becoming a sonographer! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Senior Series Features Abbie Gill

“Stay active in your community.” Although 4-H can teach us how to better ourselves and open new doors to opportunities, many members also like to dedicate their service to others around them. 


Abbie Gill, an 18 year old recent graduate of Orange County High School has been one of those members for many years, as she has focused on growing herself while bettering the community. Growing up in 4-H, she participated in the Jr. stockmen's competition, which taught her how to identify the many aspects of livestock production, while also giving her a more analytical eye when judging animals. These skills would help her become more knowledgeable in the show ring, too, as she showed hogs for six years and lambs for four. Abbie attended State 4-H Congress twice and was tapped as a 4-H All Star in 2019, the highest honor any member can get within the organization! 


“Don’t skip public speaking, you’ll need it in the long run,” says Abbie, as she continues to reminisce on all of the things that 4-H has taught her. To be active in a community, you need your voice to be heard, and she learned that through building genuine relationships and participating in activities that pushed her outside of her comfort zone. She remembers that Congress was one of her favorite memories, as it allowed her to meet new people, and gain some of those relationship building skills. 

Outside of 4-H, Abbie enjoys spending her time riding horses. Raising livestock, and still spending time with other animals in her free time has helped her learn more about responsibility and time management. Sure, the animals are fun and relaxing to be around, but still depend on her to care for them and make sure they are healthy and safe. As Abbie looks to the future, she sees herself attending Radford University to study nursing. Thank you for your time and commitment to the community, Abbie. Best of luck to you at school!


By Evan Lineweaver, Summer Intern

Monday, July 20, 2020

Murray Dickie Graduates from 4-H

“Be true to yourself.” Murray Dickie, a 17 year old recent homeschool graduate and member of Orange 4-H has lived by this small piece of advice and shows it through all of his accomplishments. 


4-H can lead to many amazing opportunities, and Murray found his calling through livestock. Being a part of the local livestock club and showing cattle were some of the activities he liked to participate in. He mainly raised and showed steers during high school, but also did some competitions as well. He was a part of the stockmen’s and cattle working team, which gave him both knowledge and skill with livestock. Not only could he identify breeds, feeds, and equipment, but he could apply his knowledge through hands-on teamwork during a cattle working contest. Murray also found enjoyment through the tractor driving contest, and was 3rd overall in the state in 2019! 


Through 4-H, he was able to find friends and better himself as a leader. He was the Treasurer for the Livestock Club for the 2019-2020 term, and learned the importance of money for himself and a larger group. It also taught him that time management is not something to overlook, and can be a valuable skill for him in the future. Balancing school, extracurriculars, and friends can be made easy with time management. He became friends with many people in the club, but one of his favorite memories is spending time with them at the county fair. 


As he plans for his future, Murray will attend Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business and major in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology. 


“Work hard to achieve your goals, don’t give up even when frustrated, and always remember to show respect and gratitude to the people who help you along the way,” says Murray to young 4-H’ers. Thank you for being a great role model and setting an example, Murray. Good luck at Tech! 

By Evan Lineweaver, Summer Intern

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Next in the Series of Senior Recognition: Landon Hitt

“Work hard in all that you do.” These words can resonate with anyone, whether inside or outside of 4-H. Landon Hitt, a 17 year old recent graduate of CHAMPIONS for Christ Homeschool Coop, lives by these words in all of his activities. 

Through 4-H, he primarily played an active role in the livestock side of the organization, showing cattle, lambs, hogs, and goats. He also was a part of the livestock judging team, and the cattle working team, with the latter being the Virginia State Champion team. He was also a leader, being the Livestock club Secretary and Vice-President, a Cloverbud Camp teen counselor, and a part of the awards committee, which gave him experience with working as a part of a team, and with younger individuals. Landon was also so involved in 4-H, that he achieved one of the highest honors in the organization, and was tapped to be a 4-H All Star this summer!

Through his many years of involvement, Landon made many friends and created lots of memories. Some of his favorite memories were showing in multiple states, such as Kentucky and West Virginia. He also believes that one of the best things 4-H brought him was his friendship with the Gilbert family. Friendships are some of the strongest bonds that an organization can expose its members to, and will have a long lasting impact. 

Now that Landon has graduated high school, he plans to work full time with his family's business, Hitt’s Equipment Repair, LLC. He also hopes to get his CDL certification, as well as his welding certification within the next year. These trade skills and experiences will make him a great asset when tackling any job or operation. He lives by his words of advice, and always believes that if you have a dream, you must work towards your goal to make that dream a reality! Thank you, and best of luck Landon! 

By Evan Lineweaver, Summer Intern