By Janet Kehres
Karen Harvey (advisor to Bibs & Boots 4-H group near Shelby) is no stranger to being active with a 4-H group. When she was a little girl she belonged to Ganges Happy Hearts 4-H club. When she was old enough to show animals she showed steers and had several sewing projects. She is married now (to Mark Harvey) and has been a 4-H advisor for many years. She has had several assistant advisors through the years. Most of the assistants were mothers of the club members and occasionally former club members who have graduated and want to help. Krista Steiner is one of those former members who help Karen.
When Cathy Gardner's 4-H club dissolved, she began helping Karen. Jackie Wasilewski also helps with group. This past year Bibs & Boots started with forty-seven members and ended with forty-six. Of the forty-six members, seventeen were clover buds. Clover buds are children ranging from kindergarten age to the third grade and at least eight years old by January first. They attend meetings and learn numerous things during the 4-H meetings but are not able to have competitive projects. It is the first stepping-stone of becoming an active 4-H member with projects going to the county fair and possibly to the state fair. Lou Ann Steiner and Heather Fairchild help with the Clover Buds aspect of Bibs & Boots club. The 4-H year usually starts in January and the meetings continue until fair time Most of Karen's group is very successful at the county fair. Twenty-one student's projects were named outstanding. Their club booth received an award for the Best Portrayal of Club Activities/History, Projects.Kristen Wasilewski received Grand Champion Ewe and placed first in Pro Showmanship. She placed first and fourth in her market classes on the county level. Kristen received an outstanding on her breeding project with a perfect score of 100. Kristen placed third in Sr. Showmanship and also was named Grand Champion Beef Feeder with this project that she took in FFA. She went to the State Fair showing her breeding and market lambs. Her lamb was named heavy weight market lamb in her breed, placed in the skill a thon and also was named Outstanding 18 year old market exhibitor. Kristen was an active member of Karen's group and graduated from Shelby High School this year. She received the Garrison Memorial and the Livestock Sale Committee Scholarships. She was also named Outstanding Junior Fair Board Member. Seth Wasilewski received Reserve Grand Champion Ewe and placed second in Pro Showmanship. He also placed second in his market class. Seth also showed his breeding and market lambs at the State Fair. Bailey Walter was first in her class of goats. She competed in the final drive and was also named WMFD member of the day and had footage of her showing her goat on television and was interviewed. Bailey earned Best of Show Award for her Decorama project. Bailey took her "Make Over My Space" to the State Fair and received an outstanding of the day award. Bailey redecorated her room with recycled and things she found at thrift stores. The end effect was beautiful and the cost was very low. Camden Walter was first in his class and competed in the final drive. Megan Owen placed fifth in her showmanship class of rabbits and took her babysitting project to the State Fair. Kaylin Studer was named Reserve Grand Champion Beef Feeder with her project that she took in FFA. Jena Lafon was fifth in her market class and participated in showmanship in rabbits. Eric Workman took his woodworking to the County and State Fair. He was first in his market class of rabbits. He also received a perfect score of 100 at judging to earn outstanding on his project. He earned Best of Show on his Woodworking and Engineering Sweepstakes projects. Weston Damron had an outstanding project with woodworking. He cut out a silhouette of a red horse. His dad is in the red horse squadron in the Air National Guard. Maddie Heimlich was second in her class and third in her showmanship in rabbits. Cameron Smedley received an outstanding on her rabbits at judging, placed third in her showmanship class and fourth in her market class. She earned Best of Show Award for her Family Life project and her Health project. Cameron took her Cake Decorating Project to the State Fair and earned the Clock Award. She also took her Keeping Fit Project to the State Fair. She received ten firsts, six seconds and two thirds in the youth photography categories and was also named Best of Show at Richland County Fair. She also placed first in Children's Birthday Cake and second in Other Party cake project. Gabe Smedley placed fourth in the intermediate obstacle division with his alpaca project and also received and outstanding on his judging. He placed sixth in showmanship. Natalie Grove earned Best of Show Award for her Aerospace project and took her Rockets Away to the state level. Cameron Metzger placed second in his market class of rabbits. Kayla Niese participated in showmanship with her rabbits. Mason Niese participated in showmanship with his rabbits. Austin Gray placed third in his intermediate showmanship class and first in his market class of hogs. He competed in the final drive. He received an outstanding during his judging interview. He was first in Novice A Showmanship and second in his market class of Beef Feeder. Sydney Gray was fifth in showmanship and third in her market class of hogs. Cody Lantz placed fourth in Jr. Showmanship. Jayce Myers received an outstanding on Dairy Feeder project during judging in July and placed third in his class with his feeder calf. He placed second in his class with his market goat. Isaiah Hicks was second in his class with his one goat and also participated in showmanship. Parker Lewis participated in showmanship with his goats. Riley Lewis received a perfect score at judging to earn an outstanding on the goat project and third in the sundress category. Karen Harvey enjoyed watching her group become successful with their various projects. She also was successful in her Photography project when she was awarded first place in adult scenic and she shared with Karsen Howman Grand Champion Clydesdale, Champion Stallion, first and second in mare and foal, Champion three mares, Champion three mares and stallion, first in matched pair and Grand Champion Mare all in the Clydesdale division. It was a great year for this fine group of students and parents. The students engaged in hands-on learning activities in many areas of life. 4-H cultivates skills that our youth need for everyday living as they gain knowledge about subjects that interest them and help them to become tomorrow's leaders.