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Cullman County 4-H Club celebrates local youth achievements

Kaileigh Mayfield of Holly Pond Elementary School and Addilynn Martin of Parkside School were honored for earning “4-H Rookies of the Year.” (Kerri Roberts)

CULLMAN, Ala – The Cullman County 4-H Club recently hosted its annual County Round Up, bringing together more than 100 enthusiastic young members from both Cullman County and Cullman City Schools. The event highlighted the diverse skills and achievements of these young individuals in a variety of competitive categories ranging from culinary arts to creative construction.

“County Round Up is the culmination of a year-long effort to create and demonstrate club projects,” explains Kerri Roberts, 4-H youth development coordinator. “4-H strives to help youth make decisions, become better at talking to others about their work and ignite a ‘spark’ that can lead to future career paths or hobbies. Family involvement in 4-H projects strengthens bonds and passes on skills to the next generation.”

Kaileigh Mayfield of Holly Pond Elementary School and Addilynn Martin of Parkside School were honored as the “4-H Rookies of the Year,” each earning a free trip to summer camp, where they celebrated their exceptional involvement and achievements in their freshman year with 4- H.

In addition to celebrating young talent, the event also recognized the dedication of local educators who guide these young minds. Jocelyn Logan, a fifth-grade teacher at Hanceville Elementary School, was awarded the “4-H Leader of the Year.” Logan, along with Kori Wiginton of Fairview Elementary School, who was also honored as “4-H Leader of the Year” but was unable to attend, received their awards from Roberta McClellan, a 4-H agent assistant.

Jocelyn Logan of Hanceville Elementary School received her “4-H Leader of the Year” award from 4-H Agent Assistant Roberta McClellan. Not pictured is Kori Wiginton of Fairview Elementary School, who was also honored as “4-H Leader of the Year.” (Kerri Roberts)

The County Round Up competition itself included a wide range of categories including Freestyle Demonstration, Cookies, Chef Demonstration, Extreme Birdhouse, Blocks Rock! Lego, photography, the $15 challenge and creative endeavors Art. These categories provided a platform for students to showcase their talents and apply the skills they learned during their monthly 4-H Club meetings. During these meetings, which take place in classrooms and community clubs, members practice parliamentary procedures, elect officials, and prepare for monthly projects that could lead to further recognition. Members who earn first or second place ribbons in their classroom competitions are invited to the County Round Up. There they compete to be recognized as the best in the province and have a chance to win prize money.

Roberts also commented on the inclusivity and growth of the program, saying, “4-H provides a niche environment for youth who may not be as involved in sports or academics. Every year I look forward to new members gaining confidence in their work. I also enjoy seeing returning members improve their skills.”

The winners of County Round Up Jr. of 2024 (Kerri Roberts)

Roberts, along with her assistant McClellan, supervise more than 1,500 youth across the country. They are committed to fostering an environment in which young people can enhance their skills in leadership, creativity and community involvement.

“Our goal in Cullman 4-H is to be in every elementary school in the county and city. We are currently not in every school due to a lack of staff to serve each school, but our district coordinator, Kira Sims, is working hard to fund another 4-H youth teacher. 4-H’s motto is ‘To Make the Best Better’ and we strive to do that in Cullman,” said Roberts.