The Yancey Clover: A 2021 Year in Review

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What a challenging yet amazing year 2021 was! The purpose of 4-H is to provide youth with exciting learning opportunities to help develop them into positive members of our community. Although 2021 presented many challenges and obstacles, Yancey County 4-H reached over 600 youth through our hands-on school enrichment programs, clubs, and events. Some of our largest programs this past year included school enrichment programs such as Embryology with Second Graders in the County, Fire Safety with Third Graders and Toes in the Toe with Fifth Graders. Yancey County 4-H also added four new clubs and groups in 2021: Sewing Club, Outdoor Adventures Club, Homeschool Group and Arts & Crafts Group. Some of our existing clubs received a significant update in 2021. Our Beef Club was expanded to also include a Livestock Club to incorporate youth interested in other species including sheep, goat, pig, chicken, rabbit and guinea pig. Our Shooting Sports Club, Yancey Longshots, was greatly expanded, seeing an increase of over 200% in club membership, and expanding to include rifle, shotgun and archery disciplines.

Covid-19 prevented us from holding any summer programs in 2020, so we were extremely excited to host our 2021 Summer Fun Program! Nine local camps were offered for youth in Yancey County, with learning opportunities including local agriculture, environmental science, sewing, and cooking offered! 2021 was also the first year that the Tri-County Chick to Chicken and Small Animal programs were offered. Over 40 youth participated in these programs where they received their own animals, learned how to care for, raise, and show them. This led up to the final event of the program where they showed their animals in the Avery County Fair.

Yancey County 4-H had several youth achieve great accomplishments and awards in 2021. Yancey Longshots Club had eleven youth qualify to attend the 2021 North Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports West District Tournament in August. Over 150 youth from eight counties in the Western part of the State participated in this tournament. Yancey County 4-H was represented in the Archery, Shotgun and Rifle disciplines. Eight of these youth qualified to advance to the State Tournament in October. At the 2021 North Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports State Tournament in Ellerbe, NC eight youth represented Yancey County 4-H Longshots. Over 350 youth from across the State of North Carolina competed in this tournament. Becca Carroll won Second Place in the Junior (ages 8-13) Telescopic Rifle Class. The Yancey County Junior Archery Team won Third Place in the Junior Compound Archery Class. The Yancey County 4-H Beef Club and Livestock Club had ten youth compete in Livestock Shows at the 2021 WNC Mountain State Fair. From our Livestock club, Maxen Ballard won First Place in Junior Youth Poultry Showmanship, Justin Brantley won Third Place in Junior Youth Poultry Showmanship, and Sam Gantt won First Place Intermediate Rabbit Showmanship. From our Yancey 4-H Beef Club, Brooklyn Edwards won First Place in Class B in the 2021 WNC Dairy Steer Project Show, and Gracie Burnett won First Place in Class A in the 2021 WNC Dairy Steer Project Show. Congratulation to each of these youth who worked so hard on their projects in 2021!

The success of 4-H would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers. We would like to give a special thanks to the following volunteers for helping improve the lives of our youth in Yancey County: Lynn Austin & April McCurry- Beef Club, Connie McMahan & Reba Mathis- Sewing Club, Amber Hammond & Leah Edwards- Livestock Club, Shane Hilliard, Mark Geouge, Levi Johnson, Jeff Fox, Clay Carroll, Joe Pate & Gerald Barnett- Yancey Longshots Club, Kimberly Montgomery- Arts & Crafts Group, Abigail Varney- Electric Group, Leigh Davis- Outdoor Adventures Club, Linda Kay- Volunteer at Large. Yancey County 4-H is always searching for volunteers! If you are interested in donating your time to support the growth and development of local youth, contact Jordan English for more information. Volunteer opportunities are available for a variety of different time commitments.

Thank you to all of our youth participants, families, teachers, volunteers, donors, and community members for making 2021 a successful year for Yancey County 4-H! As we reflect back on 2021, we look forward to more amazing opportunities in 2022. In 2022, Yancey County 4-H will have the following club opportunities available for youth: Livestock Club, Yancey Longshots Club, Outdoor Adventures Club, Sewing Club, Arts & Crafts Group, Homeschool Group. In addition to these clubs, Yancey County 4-H offers many other opportunities, including Summer Fun Programs, Special Interest Workshops and Activities and more!

For more information about opportunities available through Yancey County 4-H, contact Jordan English, 4-H Agent at jlenglis@ncsu.eduor 828-682-1872. 4-H is North Carolina’s largest youth development organization, providing more than 200,000 youth each year with the skills to succeed and improve the world around them. 4-H is open to youth ages 5-18. 4-H programs encourage youth to “learn by doing”, and “make the best better”. NC State and N.C. A&T University Cooperative Extension coordinate 4-H programs statewide.