Agriculture & Livestock: Youth reflect well on Moffat County at state conference

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Diane Prather

Alisa Comstock, Moffat County 4-H extension agent, described this year’s delegates to the state 4-H conference as “four amazing boys.”

“They were polite, very courteous, very respectful and fun,” Comstock said.

Derek Maiolo, Seth Morgan, Austin Luker and Will Pilgrim represented Moffat County at the 2011 Colorado State Conference June 21 through 24 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Comstock accompanied the young men. Delegates stayed in the campus residence halls.

The following statement in the conference program presents the purpose of the event: “The Colorado State 4-H Conference is an opportunity for youth and adults to update knowledge and skills and experience personal growth through workshops, contests, meetings, and social opportunities.”

The conference included numerous activities, indeed, and in order for participants to make the most of the event, they were asked to follow some guidelines.

For example, participants were required to stay on campus (unless activities were elsewhere) and attend scheduled events, to be punctual, and have notebooks and pencils with them. There was a 4-H dress code, too, which included removal of hats and caps during events. Participants were asked to be courteous and considerate.

As with each state 4-H conference, participants were involved in a variety of activities. Some 4-H members were on county judging teams to compete in livestock, horse and poultry contests. There was a consumer choices bowl, horse and livestock bowl contests, and a hippology contest.

Some participated in a parliamentary procedure contest and others in prepared and impromptu speech contests.

The state officer team met, and senate elections took place. The “torch was passed “ from the 2010 state officers to those for 2011.

Moffat County’s Will Pilgrim, the recently-elected District 11 president, officially became a member of the state officer team.

And, there was more.

Conference attendees enjoyed a film festival, talent show, awards luncheons and banquet, speakers, and dances. Some delegates attended conference to learn more about leadership.

Four workshops, hosted on a rotation basis, were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of the conference.

Two of the workshops were presented by conference speakers.

In a fun session called “Team Building that Matters,” keynote speaker Jay Zarr gave attendees tips on the importance of teamwork.

Zarr has 30 years of experience in combining natural settings and adventure-based experiences in teaching leadership, teamwork, and self-esteem.

Brandon Lee White, also a keynote speaker at the conference, presented “Self-Balance,” a workshop designed to help young people deal with stress. In addition, “Leadership Skills for an Awesome Life” was led by Craig Zablocki and “4-H Growing Field” by Mark Hoog.

All four workshops provided inspirational messages concerning leadership.

Moffat County’s delegates were among those attending these leadership workshops.

One delegate, Luker, also attended as Moffat County’s shooting sports ambassador. Austin likened his job of ambassador to that of a county 4-H fair queen, whose job it is to promote the county fair.

Luker’s job is to promote shooting sports. He cited the Safari Club International banquet, held in March in Craig, as an example of one of the events at which he spoke regarding shooting sports.

Luker did not speak about shooting sports during the conference. He said the reason he attended the event was to “improve my leadership skills.”

The state conference also recognized the achievements of adults involved with the 4-H program.

Raleigh Brooks, of Timnath, a state 4-H leader for 27 years, was congratulated for being the newest member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Dorothy Horrell, of Phillips County, and Chuck Sylvester, of Weld County, were honored for being inducted into the Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame in 2011.

Horrrell was recognized for her “notable achievements in higher education,” and Sylvester for his 25 years as general manager of the National Western Stock Show.

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