4-H royalty crowned at fair


4-H royalty is more than a title. It’s a responsibility.

Four outstanding Jackson County 4-H Junior Leaders were crowned 2018 royalty after the annual 4-H fashion revue at the grandstand Tuesday at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Brownstown.

This year’s 4-H royalty court is Michael Claycamp, 16, of Seymour; Hannah Kerkhof, 14, of Seymour; Rebecca Lucas, 15, of Brownstown; and Lillie Wessel, 14, of Seymour.

“I cannot say enough good things about all of the young men and women standing up here,” said Heather VonDielingen, Jackson County 4-H youth development educator. “I get to work with them every month through Junior Leaders. It is truly a joy and an honor.”

Claycamp said he wanted to be named royalty because 4-H has meant so much to him and his family. His grandparents and his dad were all in 4-H as kids, he said.

“My family has been in 4-H for many years, and being in it (royalty) would help to give back to everything 4-H has done for me and my family,” he said. “My favorite part of 4-H is giving the awards to first-year 4-H members and seeing the smiles and joy they have for the program.”

Kerkhof said being 4-H royalty is an important job and one she is looking forward to fulfilling.

“I wanted to be 4-H royalty because I get to learn more about different animals, and I can set an example for little kids,” she said. “Being on 4-H royalty means that I get to be the face of Jackson County 4-H.”

She said as 4-H royalty, she gets to spend even more time at the fair.

“I really enjoy meeting new people and getting to be at the fair experiencing as much as possible,” she said. “I love to stay busy.”

Junior Leaders and 4-H Council members help out in the weeks leading up to the fair.

“They actually go clean up the (4-H) building, get it set up,” VonDielingen said. “The Junior Leaders help put all the ribbons on the projects. They help the judges. They help us record results. So we truly would not be able to have that 4-H building set up without all of our 4-H volunteers and our Junior Leaders.”

VonDielingen said there is a process 4-H’ers must go through to be a candidate for 4-H royalty.

In June, the Junior Leaders voted for eight members who had to agree to fulfill the duties of 4-H royalty at the fair and throughout the year. Other candidates this year were Jackson Nay, Macey Stuckwisch, Zoie Hoene and Chelsey Peters.

This month, the Junior Leaders then voted for four of the eight candidates, and all eight took part in an interview July 16.

“So the results are a combination of Junior Leader votes and also an interview,” VonDielingen said. “And I’m very proud of all of them.”

Wessel said being 4-H royalty is a great opportunity to meet new people and be a good role model for younger 4-H members.

“It means a lot to me because I know I’m getting to help others out when they need it,” she said. “The best part about it is definitely getting to spend time with the other three wonderful members of the royalty court and being able to work as a team.”

Lucas said as 4-H royalty, her job is to be a role model and encourage youth who are not in 4-H to join the organization.

“4-H royalty means I have the opportunity to represent Jackson County 4-H and demonstrate how much fun 4-H is to everyone,” she said.

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