Nov. 15 is a very important date for Cherokee County 4-H. We will be celebrating the 2008-2009 accomplishments of 4-H'ers at our Annual Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will take place at the Aurelia Community Center. We will begin the evening at 5:30 p.m. with a potluck and the Awards Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. Although I'm very busy here in my office getting ready for this evening, it is my favorite time of the year because we get to recognize all of the hard work and accomplishments these young people and volunteers have been doing throughout the year.
Many 4-H'ers will be receiving project awards. In order to receive a project award, a 4-H'er must show at least two years of work in the project and demonstrate competency in that area. There are other special awards given out each year including the Achievement Award, the Agriculture Award, the Citizenship Award, the Family Living Award, the Leadership Award and the I DARE YOU Award. These awards are given to 4-H'ers who meet the special criteria of each award.
Junior 4-H'ers, those in grades 4th-6th grades, will also be receiving awards. Junior 4-H'ers are eligible for Junior Project Awards. A Junior 4-H'er must demonstrate knowledge and growth in a project area in order to receive an award, which is a certificate and a food coupon. Junior 4-H'ers can also be chosen as Outstanding Junior 4-H'ers for their accomplishments during the 4-H year and their outstanding record keeping. These 4-H'ers will be receiving an Outstanding 4-H'er t-shirt.
We will also be installing the new members into the Cherokee County Council. The County Council is made up of 4-H'ers, sophomores and above, who would like to influence the county 4-H program. The County Council helps plan county 4-H events, like the Awards Ceremony. They are also very active in planning the Cherokee County Fair and helping with 4-H events during the fair.
Clubs will also be receiving awards. The club with the highest percentage of record books handed in to the Extension Office in September will receive a check for winning the Record Keeping Contest. Banner Club certificates will be awarded to 4-H clubs who are very active at the club and county level. The last award that clubs will be receiving is the Community Service Award. Cherokee County 4-H clubs that have completed community service projects that have impacted their communities will be receiving this award.
Volunteers are an integral part of the 4-H program. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation sponsors Years of Service Clover Pins to all 4-H leaders/volunteers who have served 5, 10, 15, etc. years. Cherokee County has five leaders who will receive recognition this year, including a 20 year service pin. We are also honoring the 4-H Leader of the Year. A past 4-H'er will receive the 4-H Alumni Award for their service to 4-H. We have also chosen two individuals who were not in 4-H as a youth, but who have contributed to the county 4-H program with the Honorary 4-H'er award. The last volunteer award is the Partner in 4-H Award, which is given to a county business or individual who has contributed to 4-H.
Cherokee County 4-H hopes to see many 4-H'ers, family, friends, and 4-H supporters at our Annual Awards Ceremony on Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Aurelia Community Center. Even if you aren't currently involved with 4-H, like to support the county young folks, or are a 4-H alumni, whip up a hot dish and join us. The more the merrier. It will be an evening of good food and good fellowship. It will also be a great night to recognize and celebrate all the success and achievements of Cherokee 4-H'ers over the past year. We hope you will join us and help celebrate the 4-H program in Cherokee County!
If you would like to know more about 4-H and the various 4-H programs available, please contact Brenda Medick at the Cherokee County Extension Office at 225-6196.