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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wood Named State 4-H Volunteer of the Year

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The 2019 4-H State-O-Rama annual gathering brings Arkansas 4-H members from around the state to the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus to compete in skill events, elect new state officers, award scholarships and name the recipient of the Governor’s Award.

Last week members of the Sebastian County 4-H group participated and took home some awards! Those awards included a third place win in parliamentarian procedure and impromptu speaking.

Sebastian County’s Emily Dunn and Jenna Frederick both received their AR 4-H State Ambassador pins. The following members also received awards:

  • Parliamentarian Procedure team – Impromptu Speaking: Kimber Campbell
  • Belle Stroh (Horse) will have the opportunity to go to the Western National Round up 4-H Competition in Denver Colorado
  • Kennedy Holland (Vocal)
  • Lindsey Garretson (Entomology)

Bessie Wood, from Lavaca, was named the State 4-H Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented by the Arkansas Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Sebastian County Extension Agent Araceli Oswald said “she’s one of the General Leaders of the Lavaca 4-H Club. She was not in 4-H growing up, but, she quickly learned the value of the 4-H program and recognized how it could benefit not only her son but all youth in her community. She became a general leader and her passion and enthusiasm have been contagious. Her club went from six members to 42! She also recognized the need to have a showmanship clinic in the county and worked hard, leading a group of experts and sponsors to make it possible. Over 100 people participated in that clinic! Everything she does as a leader is selfless, for the benefit of all ‘her kiddos,’ as she calls them, and always finds the way to make it fun!”

Woods took over the Lavaca 4-H Club about two and a half years ago. “I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy doing this,” said Wood. “Everyone thinks that 4-H is about animals, but there is so much more.” Wood said she is driven to serve because, first, she enjoys it. Secondly, that the program gives kids a variety of options to enjoy, and lastly, that it allows kids to meet with other kids with like interests. “Our motto in 4-H is to Make The Best Better and I truly believe that if I push myself to be the best leader out there, then it’s going to make the kids better.”

Woods also serves on the Sebastian County Fair Board. She encourages everyone to make plans to attend the fair August 20-24 to see what the local kids have been working on.

The Lavaca Club meets the second Sunday of the month at 2 p.m., Belle Point Ranch. Their next meeting is August 11, and anyone who is interested, is welcome to attend.

Oswald stated that it was a great year for Sebastian County 4-H at State O-Rama! “We were represented by an amazing group of talented youth! We are so proud of their hard work, dedication and courage to compete at state level. We are also, very proud of Mrs. Bessie Wood for receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award. We thank all 4-H members, parents, volunteers, leaders and our community for their continuous support to Make the Best Better.”

To learn more about how to become a 4-H member, contact Oswald at 479-484-7737.

Emily Dunn receives her AR 4-H Ambassador pin.
Jenna Frederick receives her AR 4-H Ambassador pin.
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Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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