Kiwanis, bringing out the best in 4-H topics

The 25th annual Kiwanis 4-H Presentation program was held on Saturday, March 9 at the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center. Warren County 4-H members put to practice their public speaking skills in front of family, friends, and Warren Kiwanis Club members.

Members were broken into two divisions junior (ages 8-12) and senior (ages 13-18) and earned blue, red, or white rosette ribbons along with a monetary award provided by the Kiwanis Club of Warren. Members selected from three categories to perform their speech: public speech, illustrated talk, or demonstration speech. Topics for the speeches were selected by the 4-H member.

The program kicked off with senior 4-H member Alexis Titch of Corry demonstrating, “Stoney Art.” She explained the technique of turning stones into artwork that she has learned from her great grandmother. Alexis received a blue ribbon for her speech. Russell Loizeaux of Youngsville demonstrated “Handgun Maintenance.” He used a combination of photos, projected for the audience to see, and hands-on dismantling of the handgun for his speech. Russell was awarded a blue ribbon for his efforts. Mitchell Downs of Bear Lake demonstrated the “Flintlock Muzzleloader.” Mitchell’s red ribbon presentation also used the combination of photos and the muzzleloader to detail the significance of maintaining the firearm and the steps required to fire the muzzleloader. Tara Sleeman of Russell provided an illustrated talk on her dog “Daisey May.” Tara described the history of the three breeds that are prevalent in Daisey May. She received a blue ribbon for her speech. Abagail Downs of Bear Lake presented “Demonstration of a Guitar.” The blue ribbon speech featured the steps that Abagail learned in playing the guitar. Her speech was capped off with a song for the crowd. The last senior speech was conducted by Rachel Enos of Sugar Grove. Rachel’s public speech about the “Swine Industry” provided the audience with the history of several breeds. She received a blue ribbon.

Katelyn Bennett of Youngsville presented a demonstration on “Training a Service Dog Puppy.” Katelyn’s red ribbon speech incorporated the help of the 3 month old service dog that her family is raising. Rebecca Battko’s illustrated speech, “My Favorite Thing is Drawing” detailed why she finds drawing to be so relaxing and comforting. Rebecca earned a blue ribbon. Oakleigh Gilbert of Warren discussed “Therapeutic Riding.” The illustrated speech of the benefits and techniques used in therapeutic riding earned Oakleigh a red ribbon. Melissa Bennett of Youngsville taught the audience about “Bunny Portrait.” Along with her cottontail friend, Melissa earned a blue ribbon. “How to Make a Magnetic Message Center” was demonstrated by Audrey Ferrie of Warren. The blue ribbon presentation offered a new use for old baking pans. Tristen Wilcox of Russell presented his illustrated talk entitled, “Daddy, I Want a Red Calf.” Tristen detailed the genetic combination needed to produce red calves. He earned a blue ribbon. “A Fur-ever Friend” was presented by Katie Downs of Bear Lake. She used photos, projected for the audience to see, in her illustrated talk about her family’s yellow Labrador Retriever. Katie earned a blue ribbon. The last speech was presented by Sydni Miller of Russell. “Instruments in an Orchestra” earned Sydni a blue ribbon. She detailed the type and style of instruments used in an orchestra.

The Warren County 4-H program thanks the Kiwanis Club of Warren for judging the presentations. This year’s judges included: John Beard, Robert Hansen, John Kersey, and Joe Nelson. The program qualifies senior division blue ribbon 4-H members to participate in 4-H State Achievement Days at Penn State, August 6-8. Additional information on the state program can be acquired at

The 4-H program is a youth development program of Penn State Cooperative Extension. It is open to all youth between the ages of 8 and 18. To learn more about the Warren County 4-H program, contact the Penn State Extension office in Youngsville at 563-9388.