Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pinellas Shines at 4-H District IX Events

4-H members can participate at the club, county, district, state, and national levels. Recently there were two district level events – District IX Events and District Congress. Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, and Pinellas all belong to 4-H District IX.

  • District IX Events has two basic parts. The first is the competition of the blue ribbon demonstration and talent winners from all six district counties. The second is the District Council meeting and election of District Council Officers.
  • On May 8, thirty-two Pinellas County 4-H’ers competed at Riverview High School in Hillsborough County. Of these thirty-two, twenty-five received blue ribbons and 18 received the medal for highest point in the category. Senior Pinellas winners receive a scholarship to attend and compete at 4-H State Congress in Gainesville. Intermediate Pinellas winners receive a scholarship to attend 4-H Camp Ocala.
  • Competing at Congress will be: Beverly and Teressa Strautmann, Rebecca Morris, and Evan Julian.
  • Receiving camp scholarships are: Lydia Kutz, Abby Vines, Emily Plaisance, Kristen Venable, Kaymie Van Benthuysen, Emily Vines, Jack Polmann, Nicole Sieling, Tanner Dickson, Kyle Walker, and Sarah Head .
  • The District IX Council voted in their 2010/2011 officers. From Pinellas County, Emily Vines is the new Parliamentarian and J.D. Willett is the Historian.
  • District IX Congress is a day of workshops and fun for 4-H Junior and Intermediates. Members of the Average Joe’s and 4-H2O 4-H clubs from Pinellas attended. Melissa Sharp of the Teen Council taught a workshop on 4-H S.E.T. Participants learned about scientific inquiry, created a wind turbine, learned about hexagons in nature and made a candle of beekeeping foundation. Drama, the aquifer, water conservation, and interactive games filled the schedule of a very engaging day.
  • District IX Congress is organized and taught by the District IX Council under the guidance of the District Council Advisor who is usually the 4-H Agent of the District Council President.

    These two District level events take place every year. The locations of these events change each year as the responsibilities rotate throughout the district. Check the Pinellas 4-H calendar regularly for upcoming events.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Updates on Area E and 4-H 2O

Most 4-H clubs elect officers. In addition to the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, there is the very important office of Reporter. The role of the Reporter is to write a story to be published in a newsletter or web site. Here are two submission. The first is a story of the Area E experience and the second is a club update for the 4-H 2O 4-H club.

Area E by Kaymie Van Benthuysen

You are in your last class of the day, waiting to see who has won. They announce 6th place, then 5th place, then 4th place, and finally they get to 1st place. The announcer pauses, it seems like minutes are passing by. “In first place” , the announcer pauses again.
“In first place” they say again and pause. And then the announcer says your number!!!!!! All you hear are your friends and family going wild in the crowd. You walk out of the arena with a proud smile on your face, sigh, pat your horse, and say “We’re done”.
But are you really?
After you are done showing your horse, there are post show steps to take. One of the more exciting things you can do is to tally up all of your points, to see if you have made it to the 4-H State Horse Show. This year, a rider needed four points to make it to State. Of the thirty-three riders from Pinellas, twelve qualified for the 4-H State Horse Show. They are Jade Baranich, Amanda Benedict, Casey Comier, Caitlin Denison, Jessica Freed, Charly Miller, Sara Poppleton, Olivia Sipos, Lauren Tribiano, Kaymie Van Benthuysen, Alexandra Vulgamore, and Morgan Wright.
When you get home, it is time to unload all of your tack, extra feed, pitch-forks, buckets, and all of the other equipment you brought along. You may also have to return a few borrowed items.
After all of those steps are done, if you are one of the proud riders that made it to State, it is now time to start practicing for that!!!!
“It is a lot of hard work, but it is all worth it. There is nothing like watching your child succeed!” says Shannon Conner, a mom of one of the qualifying riders.

4-H2O Club Report by Lexa Armstrong

This past month, the 4-H20’s members have been busy with many tasks. Some participated in 4-H Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. At our most recent meetings, we began to plan our end-of-the-year club party.
Amanda Peacock, Michaela Polmann, Jack Polmann, and Emily Vines all went to 4-H Day at the Capitol on April 22nd. They saw the Governor, participated in tours of the Capitol and toured the Museum of Natural History.
Michaela Polmann reflects upon her trip saying:
“We learned about the new and old Capitol building. I found it fascinating! We did a mock legislature and voted on a bill about whether or not to build a canal. I can’t wait until next year!”
Lexa Armstrong and Michaela Polmann each received checks from the Florida State Fair for their entry into this year’s State Fair. Lexa Armstrong received many ribbons for her photography, art work, and sewing project. Michaela Polmann’s chicken was crowned the champion chicken.
We are all looking forward to our end-of-the-year party. Our treasurer, Michael Vieira, calculated the cost of the party so we could plan accordingly. We are going to the Highland Aquatic Park and have various meals and snacks.
The year has flown by, and we never want it to end… we are making great strides!

Pictures of 4-H Day at the Capitol:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spring and Summer 4-H Events

Just when it seems the spring couldn't get any busier, the registration paperwork for the summer events arrive. Here is a summary of what is going on and links to the forms you will need. Just remember that almost all forms have to be returned to the Pinellas County 4-H Office.

  • District 9 Events is May 8 in Hillborough County. All the blue ribbon winners from district-wide County Events will compete. In Pinellas, Junior and Intermediate winners receive a scholarship to 4-H Camp Ocala and Senior winners receive a scholarship to 4-H State Congress.
  • District Congress is May 22 and a fun day for Junior and Intermediate 4-H members to explore different project areas. Registrations are due to Hillsborough County May 12, but the event takes place in Polk County.
  • Horsemanship School takes place during two weeks in June - one week for English and one for Western. Paperwork should be returned by May17. Here is the link:
  • 4-H Legislature in Tallahassee is June 21-25. Registration is closed, but information is available at
  • Camp Ocala is July 12-16 for ages 8- 18. The packet is now ready and will be available at District Events. The cost is $195, although scholarships are available. Packets can be requested through
  • 4-H State Congress takes on the University of Florida campus July 26-30. This event is open to Senior 4-H members. Registration is now open; the cost is $220 for the week. Information can be at

4-H events are a great way to spend the summer!