Judges have say on 4-H projects

Published 11:20 am Thursday, July 16, 2009

ROME TOWNSHIP — Derek Smith was prepared. He knew most of the questions that were going to be asked and how he was going to answer them.

Through the chatter of other presentations and the humming from the industrial fan some 25 feet away, the 11-year-old Scottown 4-H’er sat face-to-face, three feet from the man who would judge his summer’s work on the safe use of guns.

With his hand-drawn diagram poster in one hand and his project book in the other, Smith, cool and collected, railed off correct answer after correct answer when asked about his project by fair judge Buddy Fry of the National Wild Turkey Foundation.

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The critique got to such a point that it turned into a pleasant and informative conversation between judge and exhibitor, teacher and student.

“Treat your gun as it always is loaded,” Smith said when asked by Fry what one of the most important rules of gun safety is.

On the other side of the room, Savannah Webb was not wavering either during her time in front of a judge.

Webb’s project — Adventures in Home Living — had the 9-year-old Symmes Valley Elementary School fourth grader presenting three types of indoor plants she grew to Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham.

The presentation and interaction that followed went so smoothly, the five minutes Webb spent being judged feels like 15 seconds.

For Smith and Webb and the nearly 40 other Lawrence County 4-H’ers that participated, Wednesday’s presentations allowed fair attendees to see that 4-H is much more than kids showing animals.

Projects varied from animal basics like “Fishing for Beginners” and “Ohio Birds” to sociological items like “Growing in Communities” and “First Home Away From Home,” and allow 4-H members who may not live in a rural environment the opportunity to partake in the county fair experience.

Each exhibitor had approximately five to 10 minutes in front of the judges to present their work and completed workbook. Judging ranged from grades of “A” to “C”.

As for Smith and Webb, they both got an “A” and took first place in their project category.

Lawrence County 4-H Project Results

Measuring Up

First Place, Brooklyn Massie

Horseless Horse

First Place, Brittany Webb

Fishing Beginners

First Place, Charly Earl

Second Place, Chandler Dodson

Third Place, Jordon Michael


First Place, Kristopher Compton


First Place, Skyler Farrand

Second Place, Hannah Gates

Third Place, Erika Napier


First Place, Alyssa Hoeft

Second Place, Abbi Wray

Third Place, Trent Thacker


First Place, Savannah Keathley

Second Place, Chyenne Aldridge

You’re The Athlete

First Place, Jordan Michael

Second Place, Seth Clag

Pet Rabbit

First Place, Skylar Farrand

First Home Away From Home

First Place, Kristen Estep

First Aid

First Place, Steven Ridenour

Second Place, Adam Turvey

Family History Treasure Hunt

First Place, Garrett Wireman

Second Place, Kelsa Jo Smith

Advertising in Home Living

First Place, Savannah Webb

Word Working Finishing Up

First Place, Clelsea Hardy

Explore Insects

First Place, Collin Webb

Explore Insects II

First Place, Brooklyn Blakeman

Rockets Away

First Place, Kendall Clay and Timothy Simpson


First Place, Levi Miller

Ohio Birds

First Place, Samantha Miller

Vet Science

First Place, Megan McComos

Vet Science II

First Place, Skye Barnett

Focus on Photography First Place, Taylor West

Second Place, Alyssa Hoeft

Third Place, Erica Napier

Arcs and Sparks First Place, Cody Bland

Second Place, Travis Gates

Safe Use of Guns

First Place, Derek Smith

Second Place, Colton Walters

Growing In Communities

First Place, Caitlyn McClelland

Vegetable Gardening I

First Place, Jessica Baise

Second Place, Dillon Mannon

From Seed to Flower

First Place, Jennifer Neal