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4-H Emerald Circle Banquet
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Barton County 4-H members were recognized at the State 4-H Emerald Circle Banquet. (L to R): Cody Wondra, Orscheln Fram and Home Scholarship; Katherine Hicks, State Dairy project winner; Kayleigh Bitter, Marciel Gradwohl Scholarship; and Mikey Hughes, Frank W. and Gwen Romine Scholarship.

The Emerald Circle Banquet is the premier state 4-H event held in Manhattan to honor state 4-H project winners and state 4-H Scholarship winners. Barton County was honored to have a state project winner in Dairy and three scholarship winners.
Katherine Hicks was named the 2016 State 4-H project winner in the Dairy award area. She is a 9-year Barton County 4-H member and has served as the dairy goat project leader for the younger members. Katherine loves her dairy goats and knows them each by name. She has shared her love for this project by hosting dairy goat showmanship clinics and also has taught other 4-H members how to make soaps and scrubs from the dairy goat milk. She offers these items for sale and hopes to build a small business from what she has learned in this project. To be a state project winner, members complete a Kansas Award Portfolio and if selected to advance to state they must also send a five-minute video to explain their project experiences to the judging committee. She is the daughter of Heather Hicks.
Kayleigh Bitter received the Marciel Gradwohl State 4-H Scholarship. She is a 2016 graduate of Hoisington High School and will be majoring in Graphic design at Kansas University. Her 4-H accomplishments include the 4-H Key Award and serving as an officer and junior leader in the Hoisington Jets 4-H Club. Kayleigh is presently the Barton County 4-H Council President. She has served as a 4-H camp counselor and a 4-H Ambassador for the past four years. She is the daughter of Bruce and Carrie Bitter, Hoisington.
Mikey Hughes is the recipient of the Frank W and Gwen Romine State 4-H Scholarship. Mikey is a 2016 graduate of Ellinwood High School and will be attending Kansas State University. She is a twelve-year member of the Ellinwood Energizers 4-H Club and also served as the county 4-H Council President in 2014. This past summer Mikey served as an international exchange student to Finland and has been a host sister to an exchange student from Wales. She presently serves on the State 4-H Youth Council as a representative of the National 4-H Conference delegate team. Mikey is the daughter of Wendy Hughes and Taff and Connie Hughes.
Cody Wondra is the recipient of an Orscheln Farm and Home State 4-H Scholarship. He will be attending Kansas State University majoring in Animal Science and Industry. Cody has served as president for his club and as president of the county 4-H Livestock Committee. On the state level, Cody was a representative to the K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy and was a state project winner in the swine project. He was also an Ag Challenge of Champions at the Kansas State Fair. He is the son of Kelly and Kristen Wondra of Ellinwood.
There are 65 scholarships presented at the State Emerald Circle Banquet so Barton County was well represented. There were 33 state project award winners named and the project winners are offered the opportunity to attend National 4-H Congress in Atlanta in November. Barton County 4-H is very proud of our state winners.
Berny Unruh is the 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agent in Barton County. She is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at 620-793-1910 or at