T eens Selected as 4-H’s Outstanding Members
By Lin da Tripp, 4-H Issue leader
Vidar Pirrone, Isabelle (Isa) Leifer, John, Jr. (Jack) Hilliard and Lily Hepperle have been chosen to receive the 2018 Outstanding 4-H Member Award for the 4-H Club Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties.
The Outstanding 4-H Member Award is given to 4-H members who are at least 16 years old and are selected on a basis of number of years in 4-H, quality and variety of project work, involvement in county and community service activities, as well as completion of project records. This award is sponsored by the Columbia County Agricultural Society and the Fortnightly Club of Catskill.
Vidar is the son of Matthew and Jolene Pirrone. They live in the Town of East Chatham where Vidar is home schooled. He has been a 4-H member for twelve years and is currently a member of the Mountain Rangers 4-H Club, which his mother leads, and the Teen Ambassadors 4-H Club.
Vidar has been described by his 4-H club leader as “a fanatical 4-H member from the age of five.” One of Vidar’s first 4-H activities, as a five-year-old cloverbud, was his presentation about honeybees which received wide cloverbud acclaim, although he would have preferred, even then, to be evaluated as a 4-H member. Vidar lives 4-H and has that can-do attitude that heps him to find a way to participate in almost every opportunity 4-H has to offer. As he continues with his stand-by 4-H project work in foods and nutrition, expressive arts, natural resources and horse science he also branches out. His foray into clothing and textiles found him first sewing a skirt for his sister and now creating complete outfits of shirt and pants for himself which has taken him to the NYS 4-H Fashion Show twice.
Vidar has participated in a number of animal project areas, showing rabbits, poultry and even borrowing an animal for the dairy cattle project. He has garnered the top spot for showmanship in rabbits and poultry several times. As he has grown in his skills and abilities, Vidar has participated in all state and even a national 4-H-sponsored trips. This participation has led to advancing his leadership skills as a Cornell Career Explorations Focus Assistant, 4-H Capital Days planning team member and as a 4-H State Teen Action Rep Retreat teen leader.
Locally, Vidar is an amazing teen volunteer, participating in almost every 4-H club community service project, recruiting workers for the 4-H Milk Bar at the fair and working where needed as a 4-H Teen Evaluator.
Isa is the daughter of Eric and Dorothee Leifer. They live in the Town of Livingston. Isa attends Germantown High School and has been a 4-H member for eight years. She has spent all of her 4-H years as a member of the Wilderness Workers 4-H Club, of which her mother is a project leader.
Isa has excelled in a number of project areas including foods and nutrition, expressive arts, clothing and textiles and forestry. Often her county fair exhibits have been selected to go to the NYS Fair where they have competed well. She joins her 4-H club members in consistent community service work – in particular visiting nursing home residents several times a year to share their music and help make the residents’ days special. Isa has been a perennial participant in the 4-H public presentation program, having been selected for district competition several times.
Isa’s leadership skills continue to be put to use as a teen evaluator for both public presentations and county fair. Over the last few years she has immersed herself in the forestry project, having attended NYS 4-H Forestry Camp several times and, in 2017, excelling to the point of becoming one quarter of the four person NYS forestry team to the National 4-H Forestry Invitational held in West Virginia.
Jack is the son of John and Amy Hilliard. They live in the Town of Hillsdale where Jack attends Taconic Hills High School. He is a member of the Country Cousins 4-H Club and the Teen Ambassadors 4-H Club.
Jack most enjoys the leadership and community service aspects of his 4-H membership. He is the president of the Country Cousins, where he is known for his thorough preparation and leadership. As any good president, he knows what will motivate the members of his 4-H club, and often makes treats for them to enjoy while participating in their project work.
When asked about his participation in 4-H, Jack proudly says that “pretty much all I do is 4-H”. That is evident with his participation in all of his 4-H clubs’ community service and social events as well as state-wide 4-H trips. Jack enjoys the natural resources, dairy cattle and expressive arts project areas. He is an accomplished public speaker, participating annually in the 4-H public presentation program, the regional Citizen Science Teen Leadership program, and as emcee of 4-H Achievement Night.
Lily is the daughter of Eric and Julia Hepperle and lives in the town of Cairo. She attends Cairo-Durham High School and has been a 4-H member for seven years, in the Flora and Fauna 4-H Club as well as, most recently, in the Teen Ambassador 4-H Club.
Lily’s favorite parts of being a 4-H member are working with the animals and being involved in community service projects. She has two rabbits who live in a condo which she and her dad made from her childhood playhouse. Now, as a teen she enjoys helping and sharing her knowledge with the younger members of her 4-H club – which suits her very well as she is not quick to judge but always wants to set a good example. There have been many community service projects Lily has participated in – and, that joy of service has morphed into her joining her dad at the local firehouse and becoming a Volunteer Junior Fire Fighter.
Vidar, Isa, Jack and Lily are examples of how membership in a community 4-H club can lead to personal growth and development that prepares youth to be able to participate fully in their communities and careers.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. The programs provided by this organization are partially funded by monies received from the Counties of Columbia and Greene.
4-H is New York’s only youth development program directly connected to the technological advances and latest research at Cornell University. 4-H participants learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through hands-on projects in three primary program areas: science and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. To find out more about 4-H programs in Columbia and Greene Counties contact us at 828-3346 or Columbiagreene@cornell.edu or visit our website, www.ccecolumbiagreene.org .
Photo: Outstanding 4-H members, Vidar Pirrone, Lily Hepperle, Isa Leifer and Jack Hilliard.