4-H in the NEWS



The annual North Central District 4-H Public Presentation Competition was held Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. Youth from Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego County 4-H Youth Development Programs competed.

4-H Public Presentations give youth the opportunity to select a topic of interest and create a five to fifteen minute presentation which is given in front of two to three judges to be scored. Scoring is based on a rubric created by the New York State 4-H Public Presentation Committee which is made up of county educators and a New York State 4-H Office liaison.

There are three different types of presentations youth can choose from including speech, dramatic interpretation, and the most popular is a demonstration or illustrated talk where youth use visuals to give judges a clear understanding of their topic. 4-H Public Presentations is one of the most popular contests for 4-H members to take part in. Every year, county’s run their own contest and the winners from that contest move on to the district competition. Each county can send up to six youth for the district competition and this year Madison County 4-H sent five youth to compete.

Madison County 4-H Youth included Makenna Walrath, Caitlyn Smithers, Cady Webb, Patrick Awald, and Shelby Curtis. The competition is broken up into a Junior and Senior Division which are based on the youth’s age. Youth in the Junior Division are ages 8-12 and the Senior Division are youth 13-19. All ages are based off of January 1st of that year.

In the Junior Division, Makenna Walrath placed 1st with her presentation entitled “The Trouble with Puppy Mills”. Caitlyn Smithers placed 2nd with her presentation entitled “Rabbits” and Cady Webb placed 5th with her presentation entitled “Sea Turtles” In the Senior Division, Patrick Awald placed 1st with his presentation, “How to Build a Drone” and Shelby Curtis placed 3rd with her speech, “Farmers Facing Minimum Wage Increase in New York State”.



Horse Bonanza Press Release 



On Saturday, March 11, 2017, Madison County 4-H Members participated in the District 4-H Dairy Bowl Competition at South Lewis High School in Turin, NY. The competition had a total of 17 teams from Madison, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, and Oneida County 4-H Youth Development Programs. Madison County 4-H had one novice team, one junior team, and one senior team compete.

4-H Dairy Bowl provides youth a unique and fun opportunity to develop dairy industry knowledge. The contest is made up of questions pertaining to dairy topics ranging from dairy cattle health to farm business management. Pairs of four-person or three-person teams competed against each other responding to questions asked by a contest moderator. Each team was given credit for correct answers and the team with the most amount of points at the end of the contest was named the winner. Organizers of the contest would like to congratulate all the 4-H members for a great competition. They would also like to express a big “Thank You” to all the volunteers, families, and friends that took the time to help 4-H Youth.

In the team divisions, Madison County had the first place Novice Team with team members, Julianna Tomcho, Logan Mills, and Eliza McCaulley. The team will go on to represent the District at the New York State Novice Dairy Bowl Competition at the New York State Fair on August 24, 2017. The Junior Team, comprised with members Andrew Curtis-Szalach, Kim Marris, Lilly Mills, and Joshua Tomcho, and the Senior Team comprised with members Dylan Anderson, Kayla McCaulley, and Erin Curtis-Szalach, both placed third in their respective divisions.

Points were also given to individuals for answering questions correctly and were placed amongst other youth in their respective divisions. In the Novice Division, Eliza McCaulley placed 5th, and after a tie-breaker round, Logan Mills placed 4th and Julianna Tomcho placed 3rd. In the Junior Division, Andrew Curtis-Szalach placed 8th. Lastly, in the Senior Division, Kayla McCaulley placed 9th and Dylan Anderson placed 2nd. Dylan will go on to the New York State Dairy Bowl Competition on April 29, 2017 at Cornell University for the second consecutive year.

We are so proud of the young talent demonstrated and the number of dairy industry enthusiasts we had participate. The 4-H Youth Development Program provides innovative programs and opportunities for youth ages 5-19 to participate in.
4-H members learn valuable skills, have fun, make new friends, solve problems, earn awards, practice citizenship, develop leadership abilities, and make a difference in their community.

For more information about the 4-H Youth Development Program in Madison County, contact the 4-H Office at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County at 315-684-3001 or visit us at www.madisoncountycce.org.




The 12th annual New York Agricultural Literacy Week will be taking place March 19-23, 2018 in schools across New York State. The program is coordinated by New York Agriculture in the Classroom (http://www.agclassroom.org/ny/) and county coordinators to give students the opportunity to learn about where their food and fiber comes from and about the people who are involved in producing essential products in their lives. The statewide program is possible because of the over 1,200 community members around the state who volunteer their time to visit classrooms to bring this high quality learning experience to students.

Each year, a new book is selected to cover a topic related to an agricultural industry.The selected book for 2018 is called Before We Eat…from farm to table by Pat Brisson and illustrated by Mary Azarian. This book explains where the food on your plate comes from, starting with the plants in the ground and ending with the food in the grocery store. It tells the story in a lyrical way with vibrant illustrations that will appeal to kids. After the book is read, the volunteer does a thirty minute activity with the students related to the book’s topic and the book will then be donated to the school’s library.

Last year, 2,000 books were read to over 52,000 students across New York State, and each year the program continues to grow. This year, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County and the Madison County Agricultural Education programs of DeRuyter, Cazenovia, Hamilton, Madison, and Stockbridge are excited to be reaching approximately 50 classrooms in the county alone. Apart from these school districts, books will be read at Edward R. Andrews Elementary School in Morrisville, South Side Elementary School in Canastota, and the Morrisville State College Children’s Center. The books and activities will be read by school FFA Members and Advisors, Morrisville State College Agricultural Business Students, and Madison County 4-H Educators.

We hope to continue to grow this great program here in Madison County to help teach more youth about agriculture and how it impacts their everyday lives. The book and activity are targeted towards second grade classrooms but are appropriate for Pre-K-5th Grade. If you are interested in participating in the March 2018 program, please contact 4-H educator Jessica Spaulding at (315) 684-3001 ext. 110 or at jms943@cornell.edu . For inquiries outside of Madison County, please contact New York Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator, Katie Carpenter, at 518-480-1978 or at kse45@cornell.edu

Last updated February 26, 2018