Maneotis named 2008 4-H Member of the Year in Moffat County |

Maneotis named 2008 4-H Member of the Year in Moffat County

Diane Prather

Karissa Maneotis is one busy 16-year-old.

During the year, she exhibits market animal projects at the Moffat County Fair, Colorado State Fair, American Royal Show, Arizona National Show, and the National Western Stock Show.

And that’s not all.

Besides completing animal projects, Karissa participates in other 4-H and school activities.

The daughter of Nick and Karen Maneotis, of Craig, Karissa is Moffat County’s 4-H Member of the Year for 2008.

This is Karissa’s ninth year in 4-H. She and her sister, Andrea, are members of the Double Trouble 4-H Club, led by their parents. Karissa said that although the club started out for lamb and goat projects, the about 15 members take other market animal projects, as well.

Recommended Stories For You

“It’s nearly turned out to be a community club,” Katissa said.

When Karissa started out in 4-H as a Cloverbud, she was in a sewing club, but since then, she’s taken only animal projects. The animals include market lambs, goats, swine, and breeding sheep and goats.

Karissa shows Suffolk and crossbred market and breeding sheep and a variety of crossbred swine, depending on the year. The market swine are shown at the Moffat County Fair and Colorado State Fair.

Every year since she’s started 4-H, Karissa has shown a grand champion or reserve champion market animal at the Moffat County Fair.

Karissa said that each March she and Andrea select about 15 to 20 lambs and 10 goats. After the county fair, the leftover lambs and goats are entered into the Colorado State Fair. The next step for the leftover animals is the American Royal Show, held in Kansas City, Mo., in October.

After the Kansas City show, Karissa and her sister “start fresh,” getting market lambs ready for the Arizona National in Phoenix, and Denver’s National Western Stock Show.

As far as placing at shows other than county fair, Karissa was grand champion in Intermediate Goat Showmanship at Arizona National. Two years in a row she was reserve champion in goat showmanship at the National Western Stock Show. At Kansas City, in 2008, she was third overall in intermediate goat showmanship.

Twice, Karissa has made the Junior Livestock Sale at the Colorado State Fair and Arizona National. That’s a big deal, because there are only a certain number of each species that are allowed to sell. Exhibitors at Colorado State Fair must place first or second (sometimes third) and first or second at Arizona National.

Karissa participates in other 4-H activities, too. She was President of the Moffat 4-H Council in 2007-08 and is Secretary and Senator for the 2008-09 year.

Karissa said that the 4-H Council now is setting goals for the new year. The group likes to complete two projects each year. Last year, for example, they organized the “Shoebox Challenge,” asking Moffat County 4-H members to fill shoeboxes with hygiene necessities and toys for a variety of ages. The shoeboxes were to be taken to children who were patients at Children’s Hospital.

Karissa was a member of representative Moffat County 4-H members who took 100 shoeboxes to the hospital in Denver.

The Council also donated a tree, which members picked out and planted at the Sunset Elementary School playground. Future plans include planting trees at other county elementary schools or possibly the new Middle School, although the Council has not finalized this project.

The 4-H Council also is in the process of putting together the 2009 Plat Book.

Karissa also is secretary of 4-H District 11, representing 4-H members in Eagle, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. She explained that District 11 officers try to meet three times a year, sometimes with District 12 officers, to plan District Retreat.

In reflecting on 4-H, Karissa said, “I think that 4-H is a really good organization for any kid. We learn life skills no matter what the project area. It doesn’t have to be livestock.”

She added, “We have to keep record books for all projects which helps us learn to be responsible adults in the money aspects of life. And the leadership camps help us learn who we are and what we want to be when we grow up.”

At Moffat County High School, Karissa is a member of FFA, serving as junior president last year. She also is sophomore class representative to MCHS Student Council and representative for SAPP (Substance Abuse Prevention Program).

Karissa already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.

She explained, “I’m leaning toward being a lawyer, but I haven’t quite decided if I want to be an in-court lawyer or an agricultural issue lawyer.”

Karissa is considering colleges in Oklahoma and Texas, but she hasn’t decided that yet, either.

Hats off to Karissa Maneotis, 4-H Member of the Year.