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Aaron R. Gray: Individuals recognized at Gold Star Banquet

As October wraps up we turn our thoughts towards the approaching holidays. It will be Halloween soon and then Thanksgiving will be around the corner. This is a time we reflect on our “harvests” for the year. You don’t have to be a farmer or rancher to appreciate the value of “reaping what you sow.”

The Denton County 4-H program took time to recognize the fruits of its labor at our Gold Star Banquet on Oct. 14, which was held at the Ride for the Brand Church in Sanger. The fruit of which we speak, of course, are the young people and volunteers in our program and the accomplishments they have earned. The event was catered by The Old Town Market from Lewisville.

The owner, Mike Knowles, received the “Friend of 4-H” award for his service to 4-H over the years. Craig Owens was the featured speaker for the event. Owens was a Gold Star Recipient in 1989 and is now the principal at Dublin High School. Several awards were given, including jackets, watches, plaques and pins, as well as the Al Petty scholarship. Tommy Calvert from Farm Bureau was in attendance to present the Farm Bureau Awards along with many other distinguished guests. At the conclusion of the banquet, Ron Mayberry from the Tractor Supply Company gave all award winners a $25 gift certificate.

We also wrap up the State Fair of Texas as well. We had many 4-Hers involved in the state fair from doing demonstrations to competing in livestock shows and contests. The highlight for Denton County was the near sweep of the senior division in the Wildlife Habitation Education Program (WHEP) contest.

The champion senior team members were Kaitlyn Kilpatrick (first place individual), Theresa Raabe (second), Lauren Kilpatrick (third), Arthur Hatch (fourth) and Anna Raabe (ninth). Denton County’s WHEP has had a great deal of success in recent years. We won a national title in 2010 and were the runner-up in 2012. This is due to all the hard work put in by parents and volunteers in preparing the kids to compete. A lot of the credit goes to their team coach, Susan Kilpatrick.

The 4-H office also says goodbye to program assistant Cassie Morgan as she has taken another job with Denton County. She has been a great person to work with in my short time here as the Denton County 4-H agent, and I want to thank her for all the help she has provided to 4-H and me personally.

We are currently working hard on providing curriculum programs for all the schools in Denton County, along with the 4-H activities. If you have any questions about getting involved in 4-H and the several project areas we offer, I can be reached at, 940-349-2884, or you can visit us at the Texas A&M AgriLife office at 401 W. Hickory Suite 125 Denton, Texas 76201. We’d love the opportunity to show you what we offer and help find something that your young people will love to do while setting a foundation to eventually earn scholarships from one of the largest scholarship pools in the state of Texas.

AARON R. GRAY is the 4-H and youth development extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. He can be reached at 940-349-2884.