4-H holds annual banquet, presents awards

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— During Cassidy Kurtz's last speech as a 4-H member, she applauded the vision the people of Routt County have shown in growing the county's 4-H program for the last 100 years.

"Don't be afraid to try new things," she told those who will follow her in 4-H. "No matter what the outcome is, you are going to benefit."

Kurtz spoke during the 4-H Banquet Saturday night in Hayden. The banquet was an awards assembly and wrap-up of the year in 4-H.

Kurtz participated in 4-H for 10 years. She said the goals of the program can help any student.

The program is "really looking to produce kids with leadership skills through a diverse experience and different interaction with people and livestock," Kurtz said.

She said although it was her last meeting as a 4-H member, she thinks she will get involved as an adult leader after her college years. "It's sad because I know it's the last time I will be there as a member, but at the same time I feel fortunate for everything I've gotten out of it and am taking with me," she said.

Youth members recognized Jay Whaley at the banquet for being a visionary and empowering youth members to take an active role in the organization.

"It was pretty honorable," Whaley said. Whaley grew up in Routt County and spent 11 years in 4-H as a youth member. He said being the 4-H youth agent was what he wanted to do.

He said he is proud of the youth members who organized a state workshop on leadership. The workshop was initially designed for the older members to teach younger members in Routt County clubs; however, Whaley said he felt the group members had exceptional skills and encouraged them to take the workshop to the state level.

"We work together to give them experience in their clubs, and then the county, state and even national levels," said agent Debbie Alpe.

The banquet recognized outstanding members as well as "friends" of 4-H. Typically, only two awards are given in the Friends of 4-H category, but this year youth members felt more people and corporations were deserving of the award.

Receiving Friends of 4-H Awards were Sam Barnes, Doug Wheeler, Don Means, Flattops Ranch and Native Excavating. Those selected all played a crucial role in the building of the new fair building in Hayden, Whaley said.

Named outstanding club members were Kurtz, Calla Manzanares, Kimberly Rossi, Tyler Manzanares, Glenda Long and Hallie Shiner.

Ray Manzanares was also recognized for his continuous support of 4-H programs and his hard work on the new fair building.

To reach Jamie Hallman call 871-4234

or e-mail newsclerk@steamboatpilot.com

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