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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Four-H Candidates Hit Campaign Trail

LAS CRUCES -- Four months before the November election, campaign posters popped up on the New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces. But none of the slogans had anything to do with Bill Clinton or Bob Dole.

Senior 4-H members were choosing their next president -- and six other officers -- during state 4-H conference. About 600 members took part in the contests, workshops and other events July 15-19.

Of course, there were stump speeches from the candidates, with 4-H twists. Tye Franz from Clayton wore cowboy chaps during his speech. Ellen Marie Zwank from Las Cruces played the "Mission Impossible" theme.

Presidential candidate Will Neish from Estancia donned a giant, floppy red, white and blue hat and made his pitch in Cat in the Hat rhyme: "All in all, in my speech I tried to be clever, but all I can say is for the best year ever, vote for Will -- pull the lever!"

Whether it was the slogan, the hat or Will's name recognition as last year's song and recreation leader, he clinched the presidential race. Zwank was elected vice president and Franz was named reporter. Rounding out the state leadership team were Stephanie Hefley from Las Cruces, secretary; Tamora Hervol, Deming, treasurer; Katie Robertson, Deming, parliamentarian; and Trevor Green, Los Lunas, song and recreation leader.

Will credited 4-H for his campaign polish.

"Four-H does a lot of confidence building and teamwork and leadership ability, and I owe a lot to it for that," he said. "Hopefully, now I can help teach younger members the same way people above me taught me when I was younger."

Leadership team members will be responsible for teaching workshops, conducting meetings and planning next year's state 4-H conference. Kristin Wilton of Fort Sumner will advise the group.