The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 5, 2013

Promoting 4-H: Mall hosts Northwest District show

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — 4-H participants from all over the 17-county Northwest District converged on Oakwood Mall Saturday to show off their projects, compete in speech, style and talent shows and promote the benefits of being part of 4-H.

Mandy Schroeder, 18, a freshman at Oklahoma State University, still is a member of the 4-H club she was part of as a student at Kremlin-Hillsdale High School. She’s also a member of collegiate 4-H at the university.

“This is my last year to be involved in the regular 4-H club,” Mandy said.

Participating in 4-H helped her break out of the shell created by her natural shyness, she said.

“When I grew up in 4-H, I was a really shy kid and was afraid to talk to anyone.”

Because of 4-H, Many traveled around the country and met many people, and the experience was so good for her, she plans to become an extension agent.

“I want to help other kids have that experience and develop into well-rounded people,” Mandy said.

Her younger brother, Ricki Schroeder, 17, a senior at Kremlin-Hillsdale High School, is in his ninth year of 4-H.

Ricki is a member of the state leadership team. He and his friend, James Olmstead, had a safety booth at the mall.

“Leadership, citizenship and wildlife and fisheries are my favorite projects,” Ricki said.

James said he’s taken assorted projects through the years in 4-H. Citizenship, leadership, shooting sports and various judging projects are among his favorites.

“I love the people we meet,” Ricki said. “I love the things we do. If it were up to me, I’d say everyone needs to be in 4-H. It’s so helpful and it makes you into a good citizen.”

One of the younger 4-H’ers at the mall Saturday was Bailey Hoeltzel, a fourth-grade student at Kremlin-Hillsdale. Bailey, 10, had an informative booth on swine and the health problems they can face. In his second year of 4-H, Bailey already is working on his third swine project.

“I’ll probably do a lot of animal projects,” he said.