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Iowa 4-H’ers named 2015 National 4-H Congress delegates

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

AMES – A total of 18 Iowa 4-H’ers – including six from the Farm News coverage area – have been selected to represent Iowa as delegates to the 2015 National 4-H Congress from today through Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

The theme for this 94th year of National 4-H Congress is “Excite, Spark, Ignite.”

National 4-H Congress recognizes the delegates’ outstanding leadership and community work and is an opportunity for leaders in 4-H to meet and learn from each other.

Congress will include keynote speakers, tours of Atlanta, service work around the city, workshops and an international banquet and formal gala.

“This is one of the highest recognition opportunities for senior 4-H’ers in Iowa,” said Cayla Taylor, campus 4-H youth program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension . “These youth were selected because they have demonstrated exceptional skills in leadership, citizenship and overall achievement.”

Delegates from the Farm News coverage area are:

  • Boone County (2): Madeleine Bretey, of Boone, is the daughter of Eric and Melanie Bretey. A nine-year member of 4-H, Bretey has been involved in the sewing, photography, citizenship and food and nutrition project areas.

She has served as photographer, secretary, historian, treasurer and decoration coordinator for her 4-H club. Bretey also has participated in her county 4-H council, Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and state 4-H council.

“My 4-H is all about helping and reaching out to others,” said Bretey. “4-H has shown me that we, the people, have power, and if we are united we can make our town, community, country and world a better place.”

Aaliyah Scott, of Pilot Mound, is the daughter of Rob and Lorna Scott. A nine-year member of 4-H, Scott has been involved in the citizenship, leadership, livestock, aerospace and clothing project areas.

She has served as secretary, president, historian, photographer and treasurer of her 4-H club.

  • Calhoun County: Olivia Hanlon, is the daughter of Eugenia and Jeff Hartsook, of Madrid. A seven-year member of 4-H, Hanlon has been involved in the sewing, child development, leadership, poultry and communications project areas.

She has served as vice president, president, treasurer and historian for her 4-H club. Hanlon also has participated in her county 4-H council.

“4-H has encouraged me to try to improve myself and learn more,” said Hanlon. “4-H has opened new doors for me to explore and learn new things that will help me as I move into adulthood.”

  • Cerro Gordo County: Spencer Orr, of Clear Lake, is the son of David and Tammy Orr. A seven-year member of 4-H, Orr has been involved in the horse and pony, leadership, communications, citizenship and visual arts project areas.

He has served as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and historian for his 4-H club.

Orr has participated in his county 4-H council, state 4-H council, Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and National 4-H Conference.

“I started in 4-H by just showing horses and I would have never imagined how far I would come within this program,” said Orr. “Throughout my seven years I have gained multiple leadership, citizenship and communication skills and I have also been able to connect with other 4-H’ers from all over the state.”

  • Story County: Ally Babcock, of Ames, is the daughter of Annette and Tony Babcock. An eight-year member of 4-H, Babcock has been involved in the communications, rabbits, home improvement, citizenship and fashion project areas.

She has served as president and vice president of her 4-H club. Babcock also has participated in her county 4-H council and youth committee, Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and state 4-H council.

“4-H has impacted my development as a citizen and leader in my community and state by providing opportunities for me to grow,” said Babcock. “I know that without 4-H I wouldn’t have the ambition that I do to continue improving myself as much as I can.”

  • Worth County: Vivian Benjegerdes, of Mason City, is the daughter of Karl and Tina Benjegerdes. A nine-year member of 4-H, Benjegerdes has been involved in the swine, clothing and communications project areas.

She has served as reporter, secretary and vice president of her 4-H club. Benjegerdes also has been involved with National 4-H Conference and state 4-H council.

“4-H has developed me into the person I am today by giving me opportunities to learn by doing,” said Benjegerdes. “4-H has given me a chance to find my passion and helped me realize that I wish to pursue an agricultural communications degree at Iowa State.”

Major donors through the Iowa 4-H Foundation sponsoring the youth delegates’ trip to the National 4-H Congress include the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Grinnell Mutual Insurance, Iowa Pork Producers Association and Anne Oldham.

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