Franklin County Youth Honored at 4-H Achievement Night

BENTON, Ill.— Achievement night is an opportunity to recognize 4-H club members and volunteers for all of their accomplishments. This year’s event highlighted some of the youth in our community for the work they have done over the past year.

The evening kicked off by recognizing leaders that are an important part of the 4-H program. Diann Browning was presented with a special pin for 25 years as the leader of the Hilltoppers 4-H Club. Cathy Hewlett was recognized for being inducted into the Illinois 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame at the Illinois State Fair. Charlie Kemp was also given the 4-H Alumni award, which is given in honor of an outstanding former 4-H member that has assumed a role in helping with Franklin County 4-H programming.

Other awardees from the evening include the following:

President’s Award- Presley Allsopp, Chase Crisp, Josie DeVillez, Andrea Miller, Jake Newbury

Vice President’s Award- Lillian Browning, Molly Goostree, Tyler Jones, Sidney Wilson

Other office awards went to Seth Clark for the Secretary Award and Cadence Neitzel for the Treasurer Award.

Junior Leaders

Those recognized for being junior leaders included:  Holden Allsopp, Luke Bauman, Chase Crisp, Andrea Douglas, Seth Loucks, Wyatt Loucks, Clare Meadows, Jasper Meadows and Colton Payne, Kayla Whitlow

Experience Award

The Experience Award offers recognition for members who participate in activities and events throughout the program year. Members are recognized for their experience in the areas of participation, leadership, community service and project learning.

Bronze Medal Winners- Trenton Brockman, Knox Dublo, Andrea Douglas, Olivia Lemons, Ryan Lemons, Evan Hughes, Courtney Hughes, Lillian Browning, Jake Newbury, Camden Kirkpatrick, Tessa Neitzel, Cadence Neitzel, Chesney Chamberlain, Nate Kern, Alexa Blades, Kaden Blades, Wade Spence,Keira Allsopp, Nate Ragland, Toni Kistner, Anna Kistner, Grace Fralick, MaKenna Drew, Lande Whitlow, Kayla Whitlow, Logan Stowers, Lucas Blades, Kamree Koester, Kruz Koester, Addison Currin, Gunnar Funkhouser, Brock Poole and Grace Kemp

Silver Medal Winners- Cody Grant, Ria Evans, Chelsea Douglas, Courtney Hughes, Josie DeVillez, Ava Issacs, Emma Spence, Presley Allsopp, Holden Allsopp, Aiden Beaty, Mace Ridgeway, Riley Ridgeway, Emma Ridgeway, Trevor Beaty, Brendon Minor, Bryli Minor, Alivia Poole, Jasper Meadows, Clare Meadows, Samantha Allen, Seth Clark, Dennison Clark, Grayson Clark, Remyngton Fuller, Sidney Wilson

Gold Medal Winners- Shelby Hewlett, Andrea Miller, Shaylen Rowland, Derek Sample

Excel Awards

Personal Growth- Shaylen Rowland

Leadership- Andrea Miller

Project Mastery- Derek Sample

Community Service- Shelby Hewlett

State Fair Participants

4-H members that exhibited projects at the State Fair were also recognized at the ceremony. Those participants included: Clare Meadows, Ryan Lemons, Chelsea Douglas, Kolton Inglett, Andrea Miller, Shaylen Rowland, Keira Allsopp, Andrea Douglas, Molly Goosetree, Olivia Lemons, Jasper Meadows, Bryli Minor, Mace Ridgeway, Riley Ridgeway, Melissa Walter. In honor of Dick Swope and Frank Kern, a $50 savings bonds was also awarded to two youth that exhibited at the State Fair. The winners were Mace Ridgeway and Andrea Miller.

Memorial, Leadership and Outstanding Awards

The Thomas L. Newbury Memorial Award was given to a 4-Her that wrote a story about why they like to raise animals. This year’s awardee was Cadence Neitzel.

The Shirley Marlow Memorial is a savings bond awarded to the 4-Her who wrote the best short story on why they like to sew or craft. This award was given to Olivia Lemons.

The Joy Richey leadership award is based on a report written by the 4-Her on their leadership activities. This award was given to Derek Sample.

Kaden Blades was named the Outstanding Franklin County First Year 4-H Member, Bryli Minor was named the First Year Teen 4-H Member, Kolton Inglett received the Electricity Award and Andrea Miller took home the Career Outstanding 4-Her Award 

There are several camps and conventions available for 4-H members to attend throughout the year. Partial fee waivers were awarded to three members to help offset the cost of these camps. Those who received waivers were: Ryan Lemons (8-13 year old age category), Derek Sample, Aiden Beaty and Anna Kistner (13-18 year old age category).

Rate of Gain

The rate of gain was a new activity this year at the fair. The rate of gain is figured from the animals starting weight on the first weigh date and the final weight at weigh date at the fair. Those that were recognized for the largest gain included:

Steer-Derek Sample

Swine Barrow- Anna Kistner

Sheep Wether-Kaden Blades

Member Recognition

Several Franklin County Cloverbuds were recognized for moving up into regular 4-H clubs. Those graduating from Cloverbuds included: Klayton Browning, Charli Fuller, Isla Kirkpatrick.

First year 4-H members received a pin and pennant at the ceremony. Members will continue to add pins to their pennant throughout their 4-H years. Those recognized were:

Kaden Beadle, Alexa Blades, Kaden Blades, Lucas Blades, Trenton Brockman, Morgan Clark, Colton Coffey, Kayte Coffey, Sawyer Coffey, Landon Corn, MaKenna Drew, Knox Dublo, Addison Dugger, William Dugger, Lucas Fralick, Beretta Funk, Gunnar Funkhouser, Austin Gaither, Gavin Gunter, Jaslynn Gunter, Ava Issacs, Kruz Koester, Olivia Lemons, Alivia Lovelady, Allison Mason, Molly Mason, Brendon Minor, Bryli Minor, Brooklyn Neitzel, Gauge Phillips, Pandora Reed, Persephone Reed, Logan Stowers, Jaycee Webb, Malia Webb, Lane Whitlow Haven Wilkerson

Five Year Members- Luke Bauman, Ria Evans, Christian Feltmeyer, Lillie Feltmeyer, Seth Karnes, Kamree Koester, Clare Meadows, Jasper Meadows, Jacie Minor, Emma Ridgeway, Riley Ridgeway, Melissa Walter, Kylea Wilkerson, Liliana Wilkerson

Ten Year Members- Zoe Carlton, Andrea Miller, Haden Rone, Tyler Winchester

Eleven Year Members- Katelynn Baine, Madison Baine, Marissa Lamczyk

4-H member that moved to alumni status included Katelynn Baine, Madison Baine, Marissa Lamczyk, Shelby Hewlett, Emma Reagan

4-H empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. Through 4-H, youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Who do you know that could benefit from 4-H? Join today at:

News source: Cindy Bauman, 618-439-3178,

News writer: Heather Willis, 618-357-2126,