Writer: Elisa French
LAS CRUCES- Fifteen New Mexico 4-H members won expense-paid trips to the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Ga., by submitting award winning record books about their 4-H projects and experiences.
Winners are Laura Alexander of Santa Fe, Tess Bader of Albuquerque, Joshua Campbell of Las Cruces, Lenee Chavez of Garfield, Jennifer Doyle of Aztec, Ryan Gaines of Carrizozo, Samantha Galloway of Alamogordo, Sean Galloway of Alamogordo, Brette Hadley of Texico, Whitney Kupferer of Albuquerque, Dave Lowry of Las Cruces, Kimberly Sanders of Kirtland, Russell Walter of Animas, Raynee Ward of Animas and Ben Wilson of Rincon.
"I am ecstatic. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity few people get, and those who do work hard to earn it," says winner Russell Walter, state 4-H treasurer from Hidalgo County.
The New Mexico winners will attend sessions on youth issues, leadership, appreciating diversity and community service learning during the national congress Nov. 26-30.
Alexander, a Santa Fe County 4-H member for 10 years, submitted her record book on the baking project. Although she participates in other 4-H projects, she said she has had the most experience and success in baking.
Bader, a nine-year 4-H member in Bernalillo County, won for an archery record book. She has been involved in shooting sports most of her life. Her hard work earned her a trip to this year's National Shooting Sports Invitational.
Campbell, whose winning record book was on the market lamb project, describes his nine-year 4-H career in Doņa Ana County as one of growth, learning and reward. He also enjoys participating in rifle, poultry and market swine projects.
Chavez, a winner for the meat goat project, said her love for 4-H began when she attended her first pig and lamb sale. In the eight years she has been a member in Doņa Ana County, she has learned how to build relationships and overcome obstacles. Her meat goat project has taught her the importance of hard work and how to be a competitive showman.
Doyle, who submitted a winning beef record book, has shown steers for seven of her 10 years as a 4-H member in San Juan County. The former state 4-H secretary has also taken leadership roles with the New Mexico Calf Club Association and San Juan County 4-H Council.
Gaines' work with the welding project paid off with a winning record book. Along with welding, he has participated in livestock, horse, land, meats and wildlife judging. He says the contests and projects he has participated in as an eight-year 4-H member in Lincoln County have given him valuable knowledge and experience.
Samantha Galloway, who submitted a beef heifer record book, has learned that 4-H is much more than just livestock during her nine-year career in Otero County. She has participated in sewing and cooking along with showing beef heifers. She believes that 4-H has helped her grow as an individual and develop many valuable friendships.
Sean Galloway, a four-year 4-H member in Otero County, entered a record book about beef heifers. He has also worked with sheep, goats and ostriches. He credits 4-H with teaching him leadership skills that will help him in real life.
Hadley, a Curry County 4-H member, won in animal science. Her first 4-H project was in market steers. Since then she has added many new projects that have taught her patience, organization and perseverance.
Kupferer, state 4-H president, won with a leadership record book. She shows animals, participates in service projects and has held many county and club offices during her four-year 4-H career in Bernalillo County. Her other projects include market lambs, baking, photography and dairy heifer replacement.
Lowry, who submitted a winning book in archery, became intrigued by the project after watching the movie "Robin Hood." Along with archery, he participates in two other shooting sports, shotgun and rifle. As a Doņa Ana County 4-H member for eight years, he has participated in public speaking, swine, beef, dairy heifer, goat and rabbit projects.
Sanders, a 10-year 4-H member from San Juan County, submitted a winning record book on the market lamb project. She is also active in sewing, swine, beef and baking projects.
Walter, a Hidalgo County 4-H member, still remembers showing pigs his first year in 4-H. Nine years later, he submitted the winning record book for his swine project. He has served on New Mexico's 4-H leadership team as state vice president and state treasurer.
Ward, who submitted a winning beef record book, has participated in the market beef project since joining 4-H eight years ago in Hidalgo County. She has also been involved in market sheep and rodeo projects. Her 4-H experience has helped her learn about several animal species and earn money for college.
Wilson, the outgoing state 4-H president from Doņa Ana County, submitted a leadership record book. He credits his seven-year 4-H career with teaching him how to be a caring citizen, strong public leader and optimist. Wilson also served as a state 4-H ambassador. He will attend New Mexico State University in the fall.
4-H is the world's largest youth organization with 6.4 million members. New Mexico has 72,500 members representing 447 clubs. 4-H members participate in contests, service projects and activities to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills.
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