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Proclamation notes importance of youth, 4-H
National 4-H Week time to recognize group’s impact
4-h week pic
Pictured at the Barton County Courthouse Monday morning, left to right, are Michelle Beran, Cottonwood Extension District – Barton County, and 4-H ambassadors Dinah Newman, Alexa Straub and Hailey Hicks. The County Commission had just approved a proclamation marking next week as National 4-H Week.

When it comes to 4-H, it is about encouraging the leaders of the future, said Michelle Beran, Cottonwood Extension District – Barton County. She was addressing the Barton County Commission Monday morning as it was about to approve a proclamation marking next week as National 4-H Week.

“4-H as delivered by area Cooperative Extension, has helped thousands of youth become confident, independent, resilient and compassionate leaders,” said Michelle Beran, Cottonwood Extension District – Barton County. “By declaring Oct. 4-10 as National 4-H Week, the Commission will encourage all citizens  to recognize 4-H for the significant impact it makes by empowering youth with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.”

She was joined by three Barton County 4-H ambassadors in presenting the proclamation.

“Our theme this year is ‘Opportunity for All,’” said Ambassador Alexa Straub. “We all know true leaders lead by example, work well with others even through challenges, and stick to a job until it’s done.”

Many youth are prepared with the skills they need to be the future leaders in businesses and civic organizations, thanks to this organization, she said. “The 11 4-H clubs in the Cottonwood Extension District - Barton County work with over 200 youth to provide project learning in 33 specific areas, such as food and nutrition photography and entomology to expand their knowledge while learning communication and leadership skills.”

The theme is a campaign that was created by National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America. 

Every year, National 4-H Week sees millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni come together to celebrate the many positive youth development opportunities offered by 4-H, Beran said. 

With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country.

“I wanted to share an important part of 4-H, which is community service,” said Ambassador Hailey Hicks. This harkens to part of the 4-H pledge: “I pledge my hands to larger service.”

“Each year, 4-H clubs across Kansas participate in an activity called ‘48 Hours of 4-H,’” Hicks said. This year, members of the 11 4-H clubs in Barton County will meet at the old 4-H buildings between Hoisington and Great Bend on Oct. 4 to spend several hours cleaning the grounds and buildings under the direction of the 4-H Holding Board. 

These buildings are used for club meetings and shooting sports practices, and are available for rent to the public. In addition, many of the clubs will have separate club service projects during National 4-H Week.

As for a local 4-H tradition, “the 4-H barbecue has been moved to Sunday, Oct. 11, with serving in a drive-through format from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each meal will cost $8 and includes barbecued beef or pork, baked beans, and coleslaw. Advance tickets will not be sold this year,” said Ambassador Dinah Newman. It is taking place at the old fairgrounds location.

Proceeds help provide event scholarships and funds for learning activities for youth in Barton County.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Approved a proclamation marking next week as National 4-H Week.

• Approved a bid to repair wind damage to the salt shed at the county’s South Washington sand pit.

County Works Director Darren Williams reported the shed was damaged during the Father’s Day weekend windstorm. Heartland Structures LLC of Kansas City has submitted a repair bill of $41,856.   

Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller is remitting the bill to insurance. But, it was suggested the commission authorize payment at this time, with any insurance payment being deposited in the Road and Bridge Fund.

• Approved rescinding a resolution authorizing the 2020 tax sale, and canceled the 2020 tax sale.

• Approved $1,087,872 in SPARK funding distributions to the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Belt Community Foundation, the Center for Counseling and Consultation, and Barton County offices for payroll in departments impacted by COVID-19, such as public health and public safety.

• Approved the purchase of two 800 mHz repeaters at cost of $1,180,611 from Motorola, one to be installed south of Great Bend and the other north.

Barton County has received the necessary documentation from the State Office of Recovery to SPARK funding to purchase necessary hardware to support the  upgrade to 800 mHz radios for law enforcement, fire services and Emergency Medical Services, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.

The repeaters will be installed by the end of the year.

• Approved upgrades of the phone system for the Health Department and courthouse.

The system will come from Nex-Tech at a cost of $11,941 for the Health Department and $28,936 for the courthouse. SPARK funds will be used to cover the expense.  

• Selected Jennifer Schartz as Kansas Association Of Counties voting delegate and Jim Daily and Don Davis as the first and second alternates, respectively.

The KAC begins its virtual Annual Conference in Wichita on Oct. 13.

• Heard complaints from Jennifer Flick over how the county handles quarantine orders.

Here is the 4-H Week proclamation:

WHEREAS, 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, having supported almost 6 million youth across the country thus far; and

WHEREAS, 4-H has helped thousands of youth in Barton County to become confident, independent, resilient and compassionate leaders; and 

WHEREAS, 4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension – a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing in hands-on projects in areas including health, science, agriculture and citizenship; and 

WHEREAS, National 4-H Week showcases the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people, and highlights the remarkable 4-H youth in Barton County, Kansas, who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them; and 

WHEREAS, 4-H’s network of 600,000 volunteers and 3,500 professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 4-H’ers, helping them to grow into true leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of County Commissioners of Barton County, Kansas, that October 4-10, 2020, is NATIONAL 4-H WEEK throughout Barton County, Kansas, and 

FURTHER, that all citizens are encouraged to recognize 4-H for the significant impact it has made and continues to make by empowering youth with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.