Two Crook County teens joined others in attending and participating in a national 4-H event and competition earlier this month.
Members of the local 4-H program and high school seniors Aidan Haney and Katie Jones attended the Western National Roundup Jan. 9-11 with three other members from other counties in Oregon.
"These teens qualified to compete at the national level through their participation at the county and state level," said Samara Rufener, 4-H program coordinator with OSU Extension Service-Crook County. "They represented Crook County as members of a larger Oregon team competing in the Family Consumer Science portion of the contest."
Rufener said that the Family and Consumer Science Skill-a-thon is a series of identification contests in the areas of foods, sewing, and home environment.
"The Family and Consumer Science Bowl is a Jeopardy-esque quiz bowl based on the same study materials," she said. "Consumer Decision Making is a decision-based contest using real-life scenarios such as choosing the right backpack for a hiking trip and selecting the correct toothpaste for your needs."
Katie Jones and her teammates earn second place in the Family and Consumer Science Bowl. She and her teammates also placed fourth in the Family and Consumer Sciences Skill-A-Thon and third in Life Skills Assessment.
In individual competition, Jones placed second in Consumer Decision Making and joined Haney in earning second place in the team category.
This isn't the first time that local teens have participated in the Western National Roundup, which took place in Denver, Colorado, but that doesn't diminish the significance.
"We have had youth qualify three years in a row for this particular national contest," Rufener acknowledged, but she pointed out that "youth have to work very hard, study and prepare in order to qualify. It is an honor for them to represent Oregon and Crook County at a national level."
Jones and Haney are no different. Rufener said that both members worked very hard to prepare and met weekly to study pages and pages of materials.
"They are both passionate about the Family Consumer Sciences project area in 4-H," she said.
Members of the local 4-H club do not necessarily target the national competition as an end goal, Rufener said, but it is something that competitors at the county and state level sometimes strive to attain.
"These youth qualified for Family Consumer Sciences," she said, "but there are also national opportunities for shooting sports, livestock judging and more."
Ultimately, Rufener and other 4-H leaders were pleased with how the event went and how the two local standout teens fared.
"We are incredibly proud of the way they represent their clubs, county and state through the 4-H program," she said.
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