Local 4-H Members Elected to District Officer Positions

— Written By Sarah Kocher and last updated by
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Five Caldwell County 4-H members attended a district 4-H teen retreat for 20 counties in western North Carolina on March 19, 2022. Two members, Addie Dillon and Jordan Mitchem of the Livestock 4-H Club, were elected as incoming district officers for the 2022-2023 year.

The West District 4-H Teen Retreat is an annual event for 4-H teens ages 13-18. The 2022 event returned to an in-person setting at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly near Black Mountain, NC.

Youth who attended the retreat participated in a variety of workshops. Workshop topics included basic electric circuits, survival skills, team building, duct tape crafts, and dancing. The dancing workshop was led by Caldwell County 4-H member and 2021-2022 district vice president Moranna Deal. Deal is a long-time member of the 4-H Saddle Club.

Moranna Deal, Caldwell County 4-H member and district 4-H vice president, speaks during the beginning of the district 4-H teen retreat on March 19. She is pictured with two of her other district officers.

Deal will continue to represent Caldwell County and West District 4-H through July when a statewide event for teen leaders, North Carolina 4-H Congress, will be held at North Carolina State University’s campus in Raleigh.

As Deal prepares to transition out of her officer position, she will help welcome the next group of 4-H district officers. Newly elected Dillon and Mitchem say they hope to use leadership skills they have gained through 4-H clubs in their new roles. Dillon was elected to serve as district president, and Mitchem was elected to serve as district vice president.

District officers serve as liaisons between counties and the state council. As part of their responsibilities, they will help plan the 2023 West District 4-H Teen Retreat. Like Deal, they will also serve on the state 4-H council, helping to plan programs, implement a state project and provide leadership at the NC 4-H Congress.

From left to right, Kaidence Buss, Moranna Deal, Addie Dillon, Jordan Mitchem, Emma Combs and 4-H Agent Sarah Kocher are pictured as the Caldwell County representatives at the district 4-H teen retreat near Black Mountain, NC on March 19.

Besides the annual district retreat and NC 4-H Congress, teenagers can lead and serve locally as club officers, project leaders or Junior Leaders during the summer in 4-H. The application for the 2022 Junior Leaders program is now available at go.ncsu.edu/junior-leaders-2022.

2021 Junior Leader participants, reflecting on their summer, said the program opened their eyes to how they could be a leader in their local community. They also reported gaining communication skills and feeling more confident in their leadership abilities. Another benefit they identified was being able to build healthy relationships with other teens through the program. In one word, a teen summarized 2021 Junior Leaders as “Awesome!”

To learn more about 4-H teen programs or other program offerings, view Caldwell County 4-H information online at caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu. Caldwell County 4-H is a proud member agency of United Way.

Sarah Kocher is the 4-H Youth Development Agent with Caldwell County Cooperative Extension. The Caldwell County Cooperative Extension Center, 120 Hospital Ave. NE #1 in Lenoir, provides access to resources of N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University through educational programs and publications.