4-H families, leaders and friends gathered at the Elwood Civic Center on Sunday, November 10, 2019 for the annual Gosper County 4-H Achievement Banquet.  Following the welcome by Gosper Ag Society member Randy Helms and the Flag Salute and 4-H Pledge by Teen 4-H Council members Marissa McClung and William Jacobs, everyone enjoyed a delicious pot-luck dinner.  A special thank you to the Pinnacle Bank of Elwood for providing the meat dish for the meal.  The pulled pork dish had been prepared by Tracy Adkisson of Farnam. 

During the meal, a slide show of pictures from the 2019 Citizenship Washington Focus Conference where eight Gosper 4-H’ers participated was shown.  A second slide show prepared by Alivia Knoerzer from the trip was also shown.

Introductions were made of the Gosper County Commissioners and Gosper County Extension Board and the Gosper County Ag Society members in attendance.  Special recognition was given to past Fair Board members, Terry Lerdall, Bob Hilton, Myron Dawson and Bill Monter.    Also recognized was the Extension staff:  Todd Whitney, Extension Educator;  Abby Baker, Extension Assistant and Kathy Beck, Office Manager.

Afternoon entertainment was provided by the Gosper 4-H Club leaders and members as they shared their activities from 2019.   Sharing their community service projects and club activities were the Pride of the Prairie, Hi-Line Hustlers, 4-H Lucky Clovers, Jiffy Juniors and YELP member Alivia Knoerzer.  Randy Helms pointed out that the clubs do not just focus on their projects, they also do a lot of volunteering in their community throughout the year. 

Marissa McClung and Rianna Chaney shared information about their conference in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2018.  They and Sheridan Chaney participated in this five-day event that youth from across the USA attend workshops, hear world-renown speakers and participate in other activities.

For a club project, the 4-H Lucky Clovers made a “Service Quilt” using patriotic fabric.  The quilt received a purple ribbon at county fair and a blue at the Nebraska State Fair.  The club members decided they would like to donate their quilt to a veteran.   This quilt and another Service Quilt were presented to Vietnam veterans Mike Remmenga and Dennis Kenning.  Club leader DeAnn Beck shared information about the Quilts of Valor project and the reason behind it.  After thanking the veterans for their service,  4-H members Braxton and Aniston Kohl were proud to be help present the club quilt to their grandpa Mike.  Other members helping with the presentation to Remmenga and Kenning were club Junior Leader Marissa McClung, Blayne Beck, Rylee Schutz, Christdolyn and Traeston Hagan, and Julea Moore.

4-H’ers Sheridan Chaney and Rianna Chaney were recognized for their completion of the “Emerald” project in the 4-H Diamond Clover program. 

Project pins were awarded to 4-H’ers for their completion of the Career Portfolio and story about their projects.  In the Junior Division, Logan Schutz received the Wood Science project pin.  Senior Division awards were presented to:  Beef-Rianna Chaney and Sheridan Chaney;  Animal Husbandry-Cailey Grabenstein;  Leadership-Cauy Bennett;  Wood Science-Leah Schutz, Lindsay Schutz.

In 2019, Gosper County enjoyed a large entry in the Clover Kid division.  These youth, ages 5-7, were excited to show off their static exhibit projects and their bucket calves at the county fair.  The Clover Kids attending the banquet were presented a certificate and water bottle.  

Ten Year members of the Gosper 4-H program were awarded a certificate and a ten-year pin.  Recognized were Cauy Bennett, Cailey Grabenstein, Browin Adams and Kassidy Drain.

A Phelps County 4-H leader sponsors a High Point Horse Award each year.  This award is determined by the number of Champion honors received at the Phelps-Gosper 4-H Horse Show held July 27.  Cauy Bennett was the Senior High Point award winner for 2019 and was presented a halter by Pokey Green. 

Livestock Judging awards were presented to two individuals for their participation in this program by Lee Chaney on behalf of Becky Chaney.  Chaney congratulated the two individuals for their high level of performance at competition during 2019.  Junior award went to Alayna Moore and Senior Award to Rianna Chaney.   Also recognized at the 4-H Banquet was Sheridan Chaney who participated in the National Dairy Judging Contest in Louisville, KY along with coach Becky Chaney. 

County award plaques and Purple Clover Club awards were presented to many of the 4-H’ers for their placings in the county and state fair. 

Several clubs were recognized for their community service during 2019.  The Pride of the Prairie received a 4-H Club of Excellence certificate.  The 4-H Lucky Clovers and Jiffy Juniors received a Community Pride award for their work in the 4-H Pollinator Garden located west of the Elwood Public Library.  The Pride of the Prairie 4-H Club also received a Community Pride award for their work in Genoa, NE building fence after the blizzard and floods.  They also held a fund-raiser for a 4-H’ers medical expenses.

The last awards presented – and the most coveted were the 4-H’er of the Year and Heart of 4-H Awards.  The Gosper County 4-H’ers of the Year plaques were presented to Cauy Bennett of Elwood and Cailey Grabenstein of Smithfield.  Both have been active members in their clubs and the county program.  Two Heart of 4-H awards were presented to individuals who have been beneficial to Gosper County 4-H.  4-H member Rylee Eislichman has helped younger 4-H’ers at the county fair with their livestock projects – “often at the peril of her own animal” said one of the nominations.  The second Heart of 4-H award went to past Phelps-Gosper Extension Educator Linda Dannehl.  Mrs. Dannehl was part of the Phelps-Gosper Extension staff for 34 years. 

Thank you certificates recognized club leaders:  Hannah Wendell-2 years; DeAnn Beck-7 years; Marissa McClung, teen leader-3 years;  LeahAnn Brell-3 years;  Dennis and Lori Hinson-24 years; Becky Chaney-3 years; Bethan Wooters-9 years. 

4-H Council members presented a certificate for their past three years on the board were:  Kelly Bennett, Codina Moore and Bryant Knoerzer.   In the 4-H Council election, Joe Wendell, Codina Moore and Bryant Knoerzer will assume their three year term beginning January 2020.  Teen members elected for a one year term are Brodey Hinson and Sheridan Chaney.

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