OREGON — Five Ogle County 4-H members have been selected as Ogle County 4-H Ambassadors for the 2018-19 4-H year. They include Sara Blume, Byron; Collin Conderman, Byron; Julia Heller, Dixon; Kayla Mingus, Oregon; and Emma Thurow, Davis Junction.
All five were chosen as the result of a stringent application and interview process that screened candidates for leadership abilities, 4-H expertise, and communication skills. As 4-H Ambassadors, this team will represent the county 4-H program at various events and activities in Ogle County throughout the 4-H year.
Sara Blume is a first year 4-H Ambassador, and a eight-year member of the Blackhawk Crossing 4-H Club in Oregon. Her major project area has been horse and beef. She currently serves, as a Federation delegate for her club, is a BODY committee member, and a chairman of Midwest horse fair. Blume is also involved in FFA, where she was president, on Prom-com committee, head stat girl for wrestling, and spent 361 hours on community service hours at Oregon High School. She says that she has “gained leadership skills, public speaking skills, but above all, lifelong friendships with other members” in Ogle County 4-H.
Collin Conderman is a first year 4-H Ambassador, and a 10-year member of the By-Y-Badgers 4-H Club in Byron. His major project area has been photography. Collin has been his club president for two years, chaired various committees, been a club delegate for Federation, and a camp counselor at 4-H Camp for three years. He received the FFA Star Greenhand Award for being the top freshman in FFA. Conderman also spends countless hours volunteering at church, nursing home, blood drives, Ogle County Fair and more.
“I feel I have accomplished many things such as being able to exhibit at the Illinois State Fair three times, receive top of class awards, and being chosen as reserve champion ten times. As well as receiving Outstanding Vice President and Outstanding President Awards the last two years,” he said.
Julia Heller is a first year 4-H Ambassador, and a six-year member of the Grand Detour Greens 4-H Club. She has served as club president, as well as served on several committees, been a science ambassador, Federation delegate, where she is the current secretary and has been involved with several committees at the county level. Her major project area is vet science and poultry. Heller was selected for the State Livestock Ambassador Team, Student Council, AWANA leader, and helps with children’s church and nursery.
“Through experiences in 4-H, I have become passionate about fulfilling my future career and learning more about it. Also, I have become more comfortable sharing and talking with people about 4-H and other things,” she said.
Kayla Mingus is a first year 4-H Ambassador, and a 10-year member of the Ogle County Clovers 4-H Club in Rochelle. Her major project area is passport to the world. She has served on various committees with her 4-H Club and been a federation delegate, where she was just elected as president. Mingus has served on several committees at the local and county level, been on Fair Crew, BODY committee, and served as a 4-H Camp Counselor. She says her major accomplishment in 4-H was “going to state fair and winning the COOP Watch Award at Achievment Day.”
Emma Thurow is a first year 4-H Ambassador, and eight-year member of the Ogle Jolly 4-H Club in Stillman Valley. Emma’s major project area is beef. She currently serves as her club’s treasurer and co-chairs the T-shirt committee. Thurow is captain of her cross country team, FFA junior officer, FFA committee chair, class vice president and class treasurer. She volunteers at church with VBS, is a youth group worker, FFA activates, and baseball coach.
“I have learned important skills such as presenting myself to others and responsibility [through 4-H],” she said.
All begin their work for the 4-H year in early September. They will be formally honored at the county 4-H Achievement Celebration on Nov. 11 in Byron. All are looking forward to a busy year that will include promoting 4-H in local parades, conducting classroom presentations, and manning displays at community events.
4-H is the Positive Youth Development program of University of Illinois Extension. For information about membership and volunteer opportunities, contact the Ogle County Extension office at 815-732-2191 or visit online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/.