Sussex 4-H youth wake up early to cook and compete

Georgetown Middle School will serve as host for the annual Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods Contest and Foods and Nutrition Judging Contest, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. More than 80 Sussex County youth from the ages of 5 to 18 will wake up early on their day off and present their knowledge of food groups, menu planning, food and nutrition basics, food safety and healthy food choices. An estimated 250 visitors are expected to attend in support of 4-H youth contestants.

The Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods and Judging Contests presents a terrific opportunity in a fun learning environment, and children receive tools of the trade and valuable experience in making wise consumer and healthy choices that will last a lifetime.

Highlights of planned events include:

  • Children prepare a food item of their choice provide the recipe. They suggest a meal plan to accompany that recipe, which is showcased before judges and visitors.
  • Contestants learn to properly preserve and display their food entry for judging and interviews. Food safety is stressed.
  • Youth design a presentation place setting for maximum appeal.
  • Judges sample the prepared food and interview each contestant.
  • In a separate Foods and Nutrition Judging Contest youth test their knowledge in such areas as consumer education, cooking terms, MyPyramid and measuring math.
  • Workshop stations designed to educate and entertain, and staffed by experienced professionals, 4-H Junior Leaders and other 4-H volunteers will present:

o   Make it and take it crafts
o   Judging Training Station for  upcoming Wood Science and Photography competitions will also be available to keep youth engaged while they are waiting for the awards
o   Kids Corner – Community service and children’s activities

Sussex County 4-H Extension Educator Mary Argo and 4-H Volunteer Chairpersons Gina Anger and Marian Carey coordinates the day’s events, judges, presenters,  educational materials and volunteer base to make this contest a great success.

Awards, presented in different age and food categories, will be presented at 1 p.m. All attendees afterward are invited to sample the delicious recipes the children have prepared and participants take home a cookbook of all submitted recipes.  Awards are sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Foundation and ribbons are sponsored by the Sussex County Leaders’ Association

When so many children sleep in late and have developed fast food and junk food preferences, these motivated Sussex County 4-H youth act as terrific role models for other children. The Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods and Food and Nutrition Contests provide the opportunity for youth to learn that many factors go into our food choices – and learning all the components of making wise choices can be presented in an educational and entertaining way.

4-H is a community of young people in America who are learning leadership, citizenship and important life skills. For more information about this event contact 4-H Educator Mary Argo at 856-2585 ext 559.

Sussex 4-H announce public speaking winners

Winners show off their trophies. Left to right, Collin Cunningham of Milton, Jill Koski of E. New Market, Md., Mikayla Ockels of Milton and Bethany Killmon of Bridgeville.

Speaking before an audience of any size is known to be worrisome for most people.   The fear of public speaking often appears on the list of common phobias! For 4-H youth members however, speaking before a crowd is easier thanks to the experience and public speaking practice learned at the club and county level.  With a little bit of practice, it is not very long before 4-H’ers begin to show mastery in this important skill that lasts a lifetime.

Many people are surprised to learn that public speaking is a popular project area in 4-H, which is historically known for its traditional agricultural focus. Public speaking is one of more than 130 project areas from which a youth member may participate. Many adult 4-H alumni readily credit their public speaking skills for success in school, college and in their chosen careers. On Saturday evening, Jan. 29, It was a packed house at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown as 17 4-H members, and an audience of  family and friends supported the young speakers and learned something new from the wide variety of topics that were presented. The contest is supported locally by the Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary Club

The 4-H youth, ages 5-19, competed in four age divisions, each delivering a short speech on a topic of their choosing, often related to their 4-H experience or current project work.  Besides being judged by their age category, contestants were evaluated on subject matter, thoroughness of their research, poise, appearance and natural delivery. Each year as 4-H’ers move up through the divisions, their confidence and ease at speaking before an audience is a proud and noticeable accomplishment.

The following 4-H youth have won their age division and will repeat their speech and compete at the state level during the Delaware State Fair in July, 2011.  Winners by  Name/Hometown/Speech Title/ Age Division are:

  • Collin Cunningham, Milton, Del., Weird Worms, 8-9
  • Jill Koski, E. New Market, Md., The Best Trip of all, 10-11
  • Mikayla Ockels, Milton, Del., The Buzz About Bees, 12-13
  • Bethany Killmon, Bridgeville, Del., A Desire, A Dream, A Vision, 14 and older

4-H is a community of young people in America who are learning leadership, citizenship and important life skills. In Delaware, 4-H is supported by the University of Delaware and the Delaware State University though Cooperative Extension.  Delaware Cooperative Extension welcomes and encourages the participation of all individuals. For more information about 4-H youth programming in Sussex County, please visit our website at www.rec.udel.edu or contact Mary Argo at (302) 856-2585 ext 559.