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Delaware 4-H delegates head to National Congress

First row: Shannon Bradley and Miranda Hunter. Second row: Dustin Waller, Holly Anderson and Jessica Sullivan. Back row: Philip Moore, Ben Shaffer, Jonah Vincent and Andy Duvall. Not available for photo: Ashley Gouge
First row: Shannon Bradley and Miranda Hunter. Second row: Dustin Waller, Holly Anderson and Jessica Sullivan. Back row: Philip Moore, Ben Shaffer, Jonah Vincent and Andy Duvall. Not available for photo: Ashley Gouge

Ten Delaware 4-H youth will travel to Atlanta from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, 2013 and represent Delaware as delegates to the National 4-H Congress. The 92-year tradition recognizes a career of 4-H leadership and project work. In order to be eligible, 4-H’ers must be 14 to 19 years of age and submit a state 4-H record book which chronicles the scope of their leadership, community service and project work acquired through their years of involvement as a Delaware 4-H member.

The delegates from the First State will join approximately 1,000 other delegates from the U.S. and its territories. The theme for this year’s National 4-H Congress is “A Passport to Excellence.” Delegates will participate in leadership development workshops, and engage in a hands-on, service-learning experience. Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, delegates meet other 4-H members and exchange best practices from their states on how 4-H Youth Development is implemented. When they return to Delaware, they share what they have learned with their clubs and fellow 4-H members across the state.

Congratulations to these ten outstanding 4-H youth.We look forward to hearing all about their trip to Atlanta!

Additional photos (individual and grouped by county) may be found on the Delaware 4-H Flickr site. Here is a little bit about each 4-H delegate:

New Castle County:

Ashley Gouge, 17, is an 11-year member of the Porter Gang 4-H Club in Newark. She grew up on the UD Farm, so it seems to many at the 4-H office, she’s been a 4-H member much longer. Ashley’s major projects are market animals, leadership and textiles and clothing. Ashley has gone from cutting out patterns to learning how to attach a bodice and skirt to make a dress. She also has learned how to stitch in a ditch. In the sheep project she learned how to pull a lamb and treat abscesses. Ashley has served as her club’s president and New Castle County Junior Council president. Ashley gives a lot of credit to 4-H for making her the outgoing and personable leader she is today. She credits giving demonstrations and participating in 4-H camp skits for giving her the confidence to try out for acting parts in school. Ashley is currently serving as vice president of the State 4-H Teen Council. She lives with her brother and parents Ron and Karen in Newark and aspires to be a veterinarian.

Miranda Hunter, 17, attends St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington. Miranda has been a 4-H member for nine years with the Flock of Friends 4-H Club. Her major projects have been sheep and dairy. Although not a “farm girl” Miranda has taken to agriculture as if her family had farmed for generations! Miranda’s sheep skills have grown from cleaning out pens to lancing wounds and administering antibiotics. With the dairy project, Miranda has learned what cows eat and the challenging skill – haltering breaking cows. In 2013, Miranda was selected to attend the 2013 National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, Wisc. Miranda has had many leadership experiences including serving as her club president. Miranda believes that 4-H is about people and she has made many friends and grown closer to her family as a result of her involvement. Miranda and her sister live with their mother Robyn in Newark.

Ben Shaffer, 17, of Middletown has been an 11-year member of the Summit Bridge 4-H Club. During this time, his major project areas have been foods and swine. Ben’s leadership experiences have been teaching foods at Delaware State 4-H camp and preparing and serving food at the Emmanuel Dining Room. Through his swine project, Ben has learned a great deal about animal agriculture and employing the five methods of giving pigs injectable medications. Ben cites his 4-H experiences at Camp Barnes as a defining moment in his life. Ben aspires to be an architect. Ben has two brothers who were also in 4-H. He is a senior at St. Mark’s High School and is the son of Brenda and Dennis Shaffer.

Kent County:

Philip Moore, 17, of Dover, is an 8-year member of the Woodside Emeralds 4-H Club and attends Polytech High School. Philip’s involvement with 4-H is marked by large amounts of community volunteer service and has completed no less than 13 projects. Of these, his main 4-H projects have been photography, woodworking, leadership and citizenship. In 2012, he attended National 4-H Conference where he got to meet people from 33 states, Puerto Rico and 10 Canadians! Since 2008, Philip has volunteered an impressive 2,409 hours of community service. Philip has been involved in many volunteer 4-H leadership experiences, holding offices and serving on numerous committees. Philip is the son of Bryan Higbee and Tracey Moore-Higbee. He has one brother and aspires to a career in aeronautics or aviation, no doubt inspired by his volunteer work at Dover Air Force Base. Philip is currently working on his Diamond Clover Project at Dover AFB.

Jessica Marie Sullivan, 16, is a member of her hometown’s Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club. She has been in 4-H forever, or for at least most of her 16 years! Her major projects are clothing, goats, photography, leadership and citizenship, although she has tried just about everything 4-H has to offer. Like so many of the top 4-H members in Delaware, Jessica spends a lot of time volunteering. Since 20o5 Jessica has logged in an impressive 4,000 hours of community service. During that same time span she spent 9,720 hours in school. Jessica has embraced all that 4-H offers and she has held many offices with leadership responsibilities, promoted 4-H both locally and statewide and has held leadership experiences as a class officer in FFA and in the Business Professionals of America. Jessica has one brother who was also in 4-H. She is the daughter of Dale and Linda Sullivan and attends Lake Forest High School. Jessica aspires to a career in marketing or public relations. She got a great start to that this summer when she interned at the Delaware State Fair.

Sussex County:

Holly Anderson, 16, of Milton, is an 11-year member of both the Hollymount and Sussex County 4-H Livestock Clubs. She is in 10th grade at Sussex Tech High School. While she has taken many projects, her strengths have been in dairy, foods, leadership and citizenship. Since 2005 Holly has lost over $3,000 on her dairy projects! This is clearly a real-world learning experience in modern agriculture, but she’ll probably tell you that the learning she received was well worth the cost. In addition to 4-H, Holly has been active in the Delaware Junior Holstein Association. She has been active in just about everything that 4-H does in Sussex County. In addition she has been very involved in school and community-based projects. Holly’s parents are Paul and Sharon Anderson. She has one brother and one sister, both of whom are very active in 4-H. Holly aspires to a career in veterinary science.

Shannon Bradley, 16, of Seaford, is a member of the Seaford Blue Jays 4-H Club. She is a sophomore at Sussex Tech High School. Shannon has been active in a number of projects in her eight years in 4-H, but the ones that have kept her the busiest are clothing and textiles and foods, including food preservation. Foods is her favorite because it allows her to be creative. She does admit to burnt food, mushy fudge, brick biscuits and a disastrous effort in making strawberry jam using the wrong recipe. But mistakes are how we learn! Shannon enjoys both Delaware 4-H State Camp and the Delaware State Fair. Her newest project is photography which Shannon sees as important in capturing life’s memories. Shannon’s parents are Steve and Jacalyn Bradley and she has one brother, Nathan, a 4-H alumni. She aspires to a career in business.

Andy Duvall, 17, of Millsboro, is a member of the Country Clovers 4-H Club. He is junior at Sussex Tech High School. This is his 7th year in 4-H. Andy has taken a number of 4-H projects over the years including fishing, archery, horticulture, leadership, citizenship, wildlife, tractor and small engines. Andy has been a fixture at the Delaware State Fair’s 4-H compact tractor operation contest. He represented Delaware at the National 4-H Engineering Event at Purdue University where he earned Seventh Place nationally. He has also been very active in the wildlife project. Over the past five years Andy has spent more than 3,700 hours in wildlife management, most of it associated with the Quality Deer Management program. He also volunteers extensively with Delaware Wildlands, Inc. Andy’s parents are Tammy and Charles Duvall. He has one brother. As you might expect, Andy aspires to a career in wildlife management, no doubt due to his long association with wildlife projects in 4-H.

Jonah Vincent, 16, is a senior at Delmar High School. He is an 8- year member of the Rossakatum 4-H Club. Jonah has had a wide variety of project experiences in 4-H including field crops, beef, swine, foods, health and more. Jonah’s most memorable experience came early on in his 4-H journey when he was selected to be globe bearer at his first state 4-H camp. In 2013 he was selected to represent Delaware at National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Md. In school he has been active in football, basketball and golf as well as FFA. Jonah comes from a long time 4-H family in Laurel. He has four brothers and two sisters. Jonah’s parents Raymond and Charity. He aspires to be a professional golfer,but has a good backup plan, that of being a farmer.

Dustin Waller,16, of Georgetown, has been member of the Clover Knights 4-H Club. He attends Sussex Technical High School. He has taken the woodworking and archery 4-H projects for 7 years each, photography for six years and goats and rabbits for  five years each. Recently he has been taking electric and robotics. He has been in 4-H for 11 years. His first and best love though is woodworking and all the learning experiences that gave him. In his first county woodworking contest he placed first. Dustin actually admits to studying for the contest. The best part of 4-H though says Dustin is that it allowed him to do things with his dad. Dustin has been very active in both leadership and citizenship in 4-H participating in everything from Tots for Tots to beach cleanup. Dustin’s parents are Norris (Bo) Waller and Donna Waller. He has two brothers and two sisters. He aspires to a career as an HVAC electrician.