Courtesy photos
Top 4-Her for 2017 Nicole Gutierrez and top exhibitor Seth Patrick display their awards after a 4-H ceremony.

September closed out the official 2016-17 4-H year in a whirlwind of activities from youth competing out of state in livestock, state shooting sports, to the BBQ and awards ceremony to honor youth and leaders.

On Sept. 7 and 8, the 4-H Panaca Livestock Club, under the leadership of Robin Heaton, competed at the Southwestern Livestock Show in Cedar City, Utah.

Even though none of the youth came out with top ribbons, Heaton said, “My club members are progressing in the right direction, as they love raising and showing their project animals, and this is the driving force in my club.”

Heaton looks forward to her club members taking what they gain this year and showing in the 2018 season.

In the 4-H state shooting sports competition, qualified youth from Lincoln County headed to Elko on Saturday, Sept. 16, to compete against eligible youth from around the state.

Representing Lincoln County were Cody and Austin Reed, Aya Rowe, Chris and Jerrett Leon-Mangum, Riley Thompson, Riston Miller, Benjamin Mizer and Matt Higbee Jr. In this mix of young men and women, Lincoln County did really well.

Aya Rowe received recognition as Overall Top Shooter of All Divisions, plus she brought home a silver in Shotgun and Air Rifle, and a bronze in .22 in the Senior Division.

Chris Leon-Mangum in the Senior Division brought home silver in .22, and a bronze in Shotgun.

Austin Reed represented the Junior Division and came home with a gold medal in Shotgun and a bronze in Archery. Way to go, team!

Closing out the Official 4-H year, the Lincoln County 4-H Council hosted the annual BBQ and Awards ceremony at Kershaw-Ryan on Saturday, Sept. 23. The youth received their cash prizes of blue, grand, and reserve champion ribbons based upon ribbon placements at the Lincoln County Fair in August. Seth Patrick walked home with Top Exhibitor for the 2016-17 season and a cash prize of fifty dollars.

The A&H and Panaca Livestock Club competed in record cooks in all three Divisions, with Joao Vitor M. Santos of Alamo winning in the Senior Division; Nicole Gutierrez of Alamo winning in the Intermediate; and Matt Higbee Jr., also of Alamo, winning in the Junior Division. Each division winner was presented with a beautiful belt buckle from 4-H Council president Tamara Etchart.

Next, Steve Meldrum presented awards in shooting sports. Each year, in each division, youth compete at Fun Meets where all the youth throughout Lincoln County compete to qualify for state, while at the same time accumulating points for Top Hot Shot of the Year. Aya Rowe once again took this award and prize for the 2017 season, with Matt Higbee Jr. taking top in Junior Division; Seth Patrick in the Intermediate Division; and Chris Leon-Mangum in the Senior Division.

The BBQ and Awards closed the event with announcing the Top 4-H-er and runner-ups for the season. This is the top of the top, as it is based on points accumulated from placing items in the Lincoln County Fair, club participation, and community service.

With her name on a plaque and a check for one-hundred dollars, Nicole Gutierrez of Alamo walked away with Top 4-H-er for 2017. Runner-up in second place was Matt Higbee Jr., and in third place was Jerrett Leon-Mangum. Congratulations!

Last but not least, to all the 4-H leaders for all you have given to make the biggest difference in the lives of youth in Lincoln County, a great big hug and thank you!