Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - 4-H members from De Baca, Luna and Roosevelt counties won statewide 4-H essay and bumper sticker design contests.
Laremy Simmons, a Chaparral 4-H Club member in De Baca County, won the junior division essay competition. He earned a trip for himself and a friend to Teen Getaway, a March weekend retreat in Albuquerque for 4-H'ers 12 to 13 years old. Simmons' essay focused on what he has gained from his 4-H projects. "I learned this year that you never really know how things are going to turn out, but through hard work and other people's help, you can be more successful than you think. You cannot always win, and there are disappointments, but you can learn and get better."
Roosevelt County's two winners were Hugh Ward, 9, in the novice division, and Jena Bilberry, 16, in the senior division.
Ward earned a trip to 4-H Novice Camp for himself and a friend. Novice Camp is a weekend camp in Cloudcroft in late July, featuring workshops and games for 4-H'ers 9 to 11 years old. His essay focused on the life lessons that 4-H has taught him and the fun he has had raising and showing pigs, which he said has taught him to respect animals.
Bilberry receives a trip for herself and a friend to Senior Leadership Retreat, a January weekend conference in Albuquerque where 4-H members 14 and older learn leadership through workshops, games and activities. Bilberry's essay discussed her experience working with dairy heifers. "I learned to never quit, just make some adjustments and work a little harder," she wrote.
The winning essays are being published in Leaderline, a statewide 4-H newsletter.
Montiqua Speir, 10, a member of Sunshine 4-H Club in Luna County, won the state bumper sticker design contest. Her design, in kelly green, orange, black and white, features the slogan, "4-H: 4 you, 4 me, 4 us, 4 everyone." About 1,500 bumper stickers have been printed for distribution to county Extension offices statewide.
4-H has 61,000 members in New Mexico and 6.8 million worldwide, making it the world's largest youth organization. Members learn life skills such as citizenship, leadership and public speaking. 4-H'ers acquire hands-on experience through projects and contests as they follow the 4-H motto, "Learn by doing." For more information about 4-H, contact the county Extension office or call the state 4-H office at (505) 646-3026.
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