By Esther M Silvius
WALNUT CREEK, Ohio - "Discover Yourself in 4-H" was the theme for the 2014 4-H Volunteer recognition banquet, celebrating 100 years of Cooperative Extension.The event was held in the Carlisle Village Inn with about 137 persons attending. Friend of 4-H, Partner in 4-H, 4-H Alumni and other special awards were presented, and honor clubs and tenured individuals were recognized. Kate Shumaker, Holmes County Extension Educator, gave the welcome, Jenna Stertzbach, Holmes County Junior Fair Queen, led the 4-H pledges, and Ian Gilt, Holmes County Junior Fair king gave the invocation for the dinner served compliments of the senior fair board. Kerry Taylor, senior fair board president, was in charge of the senior fair board introductions, and he and Tom Wilke, project coordinator, gave an update on the fairgrounds relocation project. Mandy Taylor, president of the junior fair board, introduced other members of the junior fair board. Members of the 4-H committee were introduced by Bonnie Porter, president. The 2014 Friend of 4-H award was presented to Arlie Rodhe, and the Rodhe family, represented at the banquet by Kurt and Michelle Rodhe. It was noted that "Rodhe's IGA Marketplace is a Homeowned, Home Grown Business, so it's not a surprise that the Rodhe family supports a community and youth organizationlike 4-H." "This year the family purchased five animals at the Holmes County Fair, and it is hard to estimate how many animals they have purchased through the years. The family also sponsors the 4-H Life Skills Food and Nutrition Project Cookbook Awards each year, providing them with a variety of cookbooks to choose from each year." The Troy Miller Agency received the 2014 Partner of 4-H Award. Troy began supporting the Holmes County Fair in early 2000 with the livestock sales. He has supported the purchase of swine, goats, poultry and rabbits, and in addition has been involved in the transport of poultry and rabbit project processors at the end of the fair. Troy's wife, Nona, and their children, Clay, Tate and Taylor, are active members of the Backyard Buddies 4-H Club. In 2008, Troy purchased Snyder Insurance and fulfilled his dream to have an agency in the eastern part of Holmes County. Troy feels that it is important that each child and each volunteer receive recognition, even though not all can be winners, so he created a T-shirt for the children and volunteers to wear, with the 4-H logo and advertising the Troy Miller Agency. He has been doing this for the past four years, and plans to continue. The 4-H Alumni Award was presented to Darla Miller, for her many years of dedication to the 4-H program and for the countless hours given to the fair at the Red Barn, providing dairy products at affordable prices." The Ripley Church of Christ was the first recipient of a new award, the 2014 Friend of the Fair Award. The church was chosen because of their involvement in operating parking lot shuttles during the week of the fair. In addition, this year several church members joined the fair staff and board assisting with the cleanup and tear down efforts at the conclusion of the fair. The board intends this to be an annual presentation, since "there are literally hundreds of potential recipients of this award." Austin Casey was selected to receive the Outstanding Junior Fair Board Member award, presented to the member "who goes that extra mile." All current junior fair board members have the opportunity to vote on who receives this award. In presenting the award, Shumaker said "very quickly, the other junior fair board members found they could rely on this person to be on time and do whatever needed to be done, whether it was a fun event or a boring task, early in the morning or into the evening." Five 4-H clubs that have accumulated 90 or more points for meeting certain goals during the year were recognized as Honor Clubs. They received a certificate and a monetary award, courtesy of the Holmes county 4-H committee. Honor Clubs recognized were Buckeye, Green Acres, Holmes County 4-H Shooting Sports, Nashville Jolly Farmers, and OH-4H. In addition, several clubs were recognized for accomplishing certain activities relating to the significance of the 4-H Clover symbols-Head, Hands, Heart, Health and Clover. First place awards in each category were presented to the following clubs: Head-Buckeye 4-H Club; Hands, OH-4H Club; Heart-Holmes County 4-H Shooting Sports 4-H Club; Health-Green Acres 4-H Club; and Clover, Nashville Jolly Farmers 4-H Club. Timothy Kandel, son of Julie and Ronald Kandel, was selected to receive the 2014 Holmes County 4-H Club Secretary's Award. Timothy stepped into the role as secretary when no one else volunteered. A three year member of Green Acres 4-H Club, his past projects include market ducks and broilers. Morganne Balder, daughter of Teresa and Scott Balder, was selected to receive the 2014 Holmes County 4-H Club Treasurer's award. This is her third year to serve as treasurer and she received the same award each year. She has been a member of Doughty Valley 4-H Club for six years. Her projects have been llamas and dairy heifers. She is a 9th grade student at West Holmes High School. Advisors honored for years of service were: Jimm Eddy and Tim Hershberger, 25 years; Deb Schafer and Jim Schafer, 20 Years; and Cindy Funk, Roger McClure, Kathy Ringwalt, and Mandy Breitenbucher, 15 years. Eleven advisors were honored for 10 years of service and eight for five years.