National 4-H Week in Clay County began with awards recognition at the Clay County 4-H Achievement Program on Sunday, October 2, 2016. Over 50 members of the 4-H community were in attendance to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth and leaders for the 2015-2016 4-H Year.

The following volunteers were recognized for their years of service leading 4-H clubs and dedication to mentoring youth members: ALL AROUND GANG Rocky & Anita Allen, Cassy &Josh Stine; CLAY COUNTY ODDS ‘N’ ENDS Jacquie Lueking; DISMAL CREEK CRITTERS Joni & Mark Pierson; LITTLE WABASH DEER & FAWN Amanda Dial, Annette Gullidge, Penny Arnold; PANTHER CREEK PIONEERS/PANTHER CUB PIONEERS Mandy Clark and Kimberly Fleener; PIXLEY PRIDE Brad & Cathy Rudolphi; THOMAS TOILERS Earlene Henry, Shelby May, Sandra Thomas, Emily Pittman; WALNUT HILL Lee & Melissa Lewis; YOUNG RIDERS HORSE CLUB Betty Fender, Jacquie Lueking, Lori & Tim McAllister; CLAY COUNTY SHOOTING SPORTS Billy Tomasek, Alex Fulk, Steve Wilson, Paul Lybarger.

4-H Cloverbud members, youth ages 5 to 7, were honored for their achievement in learning about 4-H by attending club meetings, taking 4-H projects, and participating in 4-H programs and events. The following 4-H Cloverbuds were recognized: Benny Allen, Lillian Allen, Mercedes Allen, Guy Arnold, Haven Cash, Cayden Craig, Hunter Czyzewski, Isaac Dailey, Andrew Fleener, Ava Fleener, Anna Frederick, Jady Logan, Sayge Mason, Sara Odle, Lauryn Snell, Hunter Steele, Xander Stine, Xavier Stine, Ethan Sullens, Kelby Turner, Mia Walker, and Alaina Worland.

4-H members recognized for completing their 1st year of membership included: Katelynn AllenRockell Allen, Summer Feldhake, Anna Frederick, Myra Dunahee, Ava Hout, Owen Pierce, Kodi Probes, Justin Smith, Evelyn Stinner, Carson Welty, Norma “Beth” Welty, Shelly Pierson, Miah Ballard, Joshua Dailey, Noah Dailey, Patrick Dailey, Callie Johnson, Brody Steele, Chance Steele, Isabella Barbee, Elizabeth Billingsley, Mallory Boose, Ethan Durre, Olivia Durre, Livia Elmore, Laren Erwin, Lawnee Erwin, Bryce Brown, Malorie Craig, Samantha Craig, Brody Hilderbrand, Elliot Kessler, Isaiah Lamke, Tyra Leonard, Keegan Sullens, Skylar Freeman, Samantha Mosbarger, Cadence Yager, Sammantha Steele, Allie Winters, Ryan Strader, Braxton Tackitt, Bryce Tackitt, and Logan Tackitt.

4-H members recognized for completing their 5th year of membership included: Autumn Williams, Max Duquaine, Coy Garrett, Courtney Kramer-McKinney, Kadie Pierson, Caitlyn Arnold, Kayle Harmon, Lawson Erwin, Kody Bangert, Garrett Buerster, Ada Peterman, Paige Spitzner, Peyton Spitzner, and Bristol McAllister.

4-H members recognized for completing their 10th year of membership included: Megan Pierson, Jackie Kuenstler, Devin Sullens, Faith Welty, and Colton Kitley.

And the following 4-H members were recognized for completing their 11th year in the 4-H program: Jonathon Dial and Samantha Briscoe.

Awards for Club Officers were also presented to the following 4-H members for their outstanding work as the 2015-2016 Club Officers: Cole Dial (Little Wabash Deer & Fawn) Treasurer of the Year Award and Kodi Probes (Clay County Odds ‘N’ Ends) Secretary of the Year Award. 4-H members who exhibit animals are required to keep detailed records for their livestock projects. The following members were honored with Best Kept Livestock Records: Cadence Yager, Beef; Elaina Kessler, Sheep; Kamryn Turner, Goat; Kayle Harmon, Swine; Myra Dunahee, Rabbit; Harrison Arnold, Poultry; Chance Steele, Horse.

Outstanding members of the Young Riders Horse Club were also honored with high point awards achieved by performance throughout horse camp and the 4-H horse show: Shelby Koester, Senior High Point; Lexi Bailey, Junior High Point; and Chance Steele & Bristol McAllister, Games High Point.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation annually recognizes one 4-H volunteer per county for exemplary service to the Illinois 4-H program as a Hall of Fame winner. This year, Amanda Dial was inducted as one of 74 new members into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame, and was recognized for this accomplishment at Achievement Night, as well.

Throughout the year, there are many of the local businesses that go the extra mile to lend a helping hand to the 4-H programs. The 2016 4-H Business of the year award was presented to Clay County Farm Bureau Young Leaders.

There are so many great volunteers in the 4-H program, but there always seems to be those few special people that go above and beyond to lend a helping hand to the program. The 2016 4-H Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Amanda Dial of Louisville, IL.

The 4-H Alumni Award goes to an individual who contributes to society, exemplifies effective leadership throughout the community, portrays loyal citizenship, is successful in their life, and sustains a dedicated interest in the local 4-H programs. The 2016 4-H Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Sandy Thomas of Flora, IL.

The Outstanding First Year 4-H Member is selected based on their project success, community involvement, and accomplishments. The honors of 2016 Outstanding First Year Member was awarded to Rockell Allen.

The Outstanding 4-H Member of the Year is selected based on their achievements throughout their career in 4-H. The award includes the member’s involvement with projects within their club, their community and state. The honor of 2016 Outstanding Member of the Year was awarded to Kylie Rauch.

Awards for Achievement Night Can Food Drive Contest went to Thomas Toilers, 1st Place; All Around Gang, 2nd Place; and Pixley Pride, 3rd Place. A total of 290 can foods were donated to the local food pantry. Last but not least, the Achievement Night Club Attendance Award went to All Around Gang for having the highest percentage of members present.

Congratulations to all of the Clay County 4-H Members on their outstanding accomplishments and to all of the supporters and volunteers on their dedication to the 4-H program.