Writer: Aspen Lyon
LAS CRUCES–Fourteen New Mexico 4-H members will spend part of the Thanksgiving holiday learning leadership and teamwork at the National 4-H Congress, Nov. 25-29 in Atlanta, Ga.
This year's winners are Julia Acree of Portales, Desiree Baca of Belen, Jennifer Blackburn of Grady, Keylee Farrington of Quemado, Talisha Franz of Clayton, Jacob Herron of Roy, Kaylynn Johnson of Fort Sumner, Jodi Lindsay of Las Cruces, Ryan Painter of Aztec, Brittany and Jamie Ragsdale of Radium Springs, Chanz Robbins of Hachita, Arden Snyder of Apache Creek and Chance Williams of Quemado.
4-H members and their families will meet in Albuquerque Thanksgiving evening for a send-off dinner before heading to Atlanta the following day. This year's theme, Lead, Learn and Grow, relates to healthy lifestyles.
"This is a reward for the kids' hard work and 4-H careers," said Frank Hodnett, head of the extension 4-H youth development department. "It is also a great leadership experience, and it gives our 4-H members the chance to meet kids from all over the U.S."
4-H members will participate in leadership workshops, hear motivational speeches, attend one of the seven offered tours and contribute to a community service project with Habitat for Humanity.
Each 4-H member will bring 103 dimes, signifying the number of years 4-H has existed. The money will go towards building a Clover House for a needy family.
"Doing community service is a big part of the event, and the kids really enjoy helping out," Hodnett said.
The 14 participants from New Mexico were chosen in July based on a record book about involvement in a 4-H project.
Catron County winners Farrington, Williams and Snyder completed record books on market swine projects. Farrington, 16, and Williams, 18, are members of the Quemado Golden Eagles 4-H Club. Snyder, 15, is a member of the Horse Springs 4-H Club.
Blackburn, the Curry County winner, submitted a market lamb record book. The 18-year-old is a member of Grady 4-H.
Johnson, the winner from De Baca County, submitted a market lamb record book. The 16-year-old is a member of the Valley 4-H Club.
Doña Ana County had three winners. Brittany Ragsdale, 15, completed a record book on the rabbit project and Jaime Ragsdale, 18, did her record book on leadership. Both are members of the Fort Selden 4-H Club. Lindsay, 15, won with her beef breeding heifer project. She belongs to the Desert Clovers 4-H Club.
Harding County's Herron earned a trip to Atlanta with his market lamb project. The 16-year-old is a member of the Roy Clover 4-H Club.
Hidalgo County winner Robbins, 17, did a record book on his market lamb project. He belongs to the Cotton City 4-H Club.
Roosevelt County's Acree, 17, completed a record book on her dairy replacement heifer project. She is a member of the Arch 4-H Club.
San Juan County winner Painter, 16, did a record book on market beef. He is a member of the Desperados 4-H Club.
From Union County, Franz, 18, was selected based on her market swine record book. She is a member of the Happy Rock 4-H Club.
Valencia County's Baca, 16, completed her record book on leadership. She belongs to Valencia YHEC 4-H.
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