Milam County 4-Hers honored at annual awards banquet

The 2018 Milam County 4-H Banquet was held on Sunday, Sept. 9, at Peace Lutheran Church in Rockdale. The afternoon program gave recognition to businesses and individuals for supporting the 4-H program and to 4-Hers achieving success in their projects and contests.

The most recognized and highest award for 4-H is the Gold Star Award. This award was presented to two deserving 4-H members. Jacob Barron and Scott Widner received this award for 2018. 

The first Gold Star Recipient is Jacob Barron. He is the son of Jeff and Cheryl Barron and has been a member of the Thorndale 4-H Club for the past 11 years including his clover kid years. His main project is wildlife and fisheries and he is also very active in the beef project where he shows steers raises commercial heifers. He is also very active in leadership and the swine project. 

The second Gold Star Recipient is Scott Widner. Scott is the son of Kevin and Cindy Widner and has been a member of the Thorndale 4-H Club for the past six years and is a senior in high school this year. His main projects include public speaking, healthy lifestyles, consumer education, and personal development. This year he will be a District Officer and a State Healthy Youth Ambassador. Sponsors for this award are U.S. Congressman Bill Flores, Cameron Chamber of Commerce, Milam County Farm Bureau, and Ideal Poultry.

The I Dare You Award was presented to three outstanding 4-Hers. The award is offered as recognition of excellence in character and well-balanced personal development as well as a demonstration of leadership.  Sponsors for the award were The Bling Box (Jeremy and Courtney Renaud) and Phil and Debbie Konarik. Receiving this award for 2018 were: Garrett Bernstein of the Thorndale 4-H Club, son of Kassie Daniels and Michael Bernstein; Kincaid Callahan of the Cameron 4-H Club, son of Billy Mac and Cassie Callahan; Colby Green of the Cameron 4-H Club, son of Dennis and Misty Green; Kassidy Hundle of the Cameron 4-H Club, daughter of Melvin and Janet Hundle; Gabriel Ramthun of the Thorndale 4-H Club, son of Ricky and Jocelyn Ramthun; and Grant Widner of the Thorndale 4-H Club, son of Kevin and Cindy Widner. 

The Silver Star award is for 4-Hers ages 11-13. A recordbook is required to apply for this award. These awards are sponsored by Marek Burns Laywell Funeral Home of Cameron. Receiving this award were Wylie Barrett of the Thorndale 4-H Club, son of Kelley and Anita Barrett; Corley Callahan of the Cameron 4-H Club, daughter of Billy Mac and Cassie Callahan; Kennedy Hobbs of the Thorndale 4-H Club, daughter of Chad and Kristi Hobbs; and Mason Leifeste of the Cameron 4-H Club, son of Alan and Samantha Leifeste.  

County Judge Dave Barkemeyer was sponsor for the Bronze Star awards. This award is for 4-Hers 8-10 years of age. Receiving this award was Shawn Leifeste of the Cameron 4-H Club, son of Alan and Samantha Leifeste.

District Judge John Youngblood, District Attorney Bill Torrey, and Buckholts State Bank sponsored the County Achievement awards. 

The clover Award is for beginner members between the ages of 5-8. 4-Hers receiving this award were Luke Holcombe - Cameron 4-H, Grady Ranspot - Cameron 4-H, Sloan Sanders - Cameron 4-H, and Cheyenne Stevenson - Thorndale 4-H. 

The Rookie Award which is available to any 4-Her in their first year of membership. 4-Hers receiving this award is Kenzie Hobbs - Thorndale 4-H and Shawn Leifeste - Cameron 4-H. 

The Honor Roll Award is for Junior members between the ages of 8-10.  4-Hers receiving this award were Hannah Bakken - Milano 4-H, Harleigh Barrett - Thorndale 4-H, Kenzie Hobbs - Thorndale 4-H, Shawn Leifeste - Cameron 4-H, and Aiyanna Stevenson - Thorndale 4-H. 

The All Star Award winners are intermediate members ages 11-13. 4-Hers receiving this award were Bradley Bakken - Milano 4-H, Wylie Barrett - Thorndale 4-H, Corley Callahan - Cameron 4-H, Camryn Green - Cameron 4-H, Kennedy Hobbs - Thorndale 4-H, J.W. Hollas - Cameron 4-H, Mason Leifeste - Cameron 4-H, and Robert Miller - Gause 4-H. 

The Letterman Award is for Senior members 14-18 year of age. 4-Hers receiving this award were Jacob Barron - Thorndale 4-H, Garrett Bernstein - Thorndale 4-H, Kincaid Callahan - Cameron 4-H, Colby Green - Cameron 4-H, Heath Hollas - Cameron 4-H, Rebecca Kostroun - Cameron 4-H, Abbigail Miller - Gause 4-H, Jacob Pedroza - Thorndale 4-H, Gabriel Ramthun - Thorndale 4-H, Grant Widner - Thorndale 4-H, and Scott Widner - Thorndale 4-H.

Each 4-H club honored a Top Leader and Top Supporter. Club Top Leaders Gifts were sponsored by Steve Young. Top Leaders were: Cameron 4-H Club - Theresa Hollas; Gause 4-H Club - Kelly Cooper; Rockdale 4-H Club - Susan Dean and Rebecca Luckey; and Thorndale 4-H Club - Tracie Johnson. Top Supporters were: Cameron 4-H Club - Bea’s Kitchen; Gause 4-H Club - Mr. and Mrs. Coats; Rockdale 4-H Club - Call Communications-Dusty Leopold; Shooting Sports 4-H Club - New Salem Extension Education Association; and Thorndale 4-H Club - Thorndale Chamber of Commerce.

Milam County 4-Hers that have placed first at a state contest received a jacket for this achievement.  This award can only be received one time in their 4-H career. Three 4-Hers received this award at the 4-H Banquet. 

First time state winners included: Shawn Leifeste sponsored by Rodenbeck Farm and Ranch and Thorndale Meat Market; Jacob Pedroza sponsored by Kellie Foster, US Olympic Shooting Team member; and Riley Clinard, sponsored by Buddy and Marilyn Johnson.

Repeat first place state contest winners were also recognized at the banquet.    

County Recordbook awards were presented by Club Managers, County Commissioners, and David Bolivar/Anderle Lumber Company. Citizens National Bank and Anderle Lumber Company sponsored the 4-H recordbook pins. 

4-Hers receiving awards were: Cameron 4-H Club - Colby Barton, Connor Barton, Corley Callahan, Kincaid Callahan, Colby Green, Luke Holcombe, Kassidy Hundle, Heath Hollas, JW Hollas, Rebecca Kostroun, Mason Leifeste, Shawn Leifeste, Grady Ranspot, Sloan Sanders, and Sydney Vaculin; Gause 4-H Club - Abbigail Miller and Robert Miller; Milano 4-H Club - Bradley Bakken and Hannah Bakken, Rockdale 4-H Club- Jack Luckey and Ryan Luckey; Thorndale 4-H Club - Harleigh Barrett, Wylie Barrett, Jacob Barron, Riley Clinard, Garrett Bernstein, Kennedy Hobbs, Kenzie Hobbs, Jacob Pedroza, Gabriel Ramthun, Grant Widner, and Scott Widner.

Milam County 4-Hers are involved in many projects and contests throughout the year. Here is a listing of what 4-H has to offer in Milam County. Ag Product ID, Calf Scramble, 4-H Camp and day camps,  Consumer Decision Making, District Leadership Lab, Food Show/Challenge, Duds to Dazzle, Healthy Lifestyles, Horse Judging, Livestock Judging, Local and Major Livestock Shows, One Day 4-H, Photography, Plant ID and Range Evaluation, State Roundup Contests, Scholarship, Shooting Sports Contests, State Brigades, and Texas 4-H Congress.

The Mr. and Miss for Milam County 4-H were given to J.W. Hollas and Brinley Patterson of the Cameron 4-H Club, and Hayden Johnson and Aiyanna Stevenson of the Thorndale 4-H Club were named Prince and Princess 4-H. Cameron Lions Club was the sponsor of these plaques. 

2019 graduating high school seniors were recognized. Graduating senior awards were sponsored by Circle S BBQ. Seniors honored were Scott Widner, Thorndale 4-H.

The 2018-19 4-H County Council Officers and Club Managers/Project Leaders were recognized.  County Council officer pins and club and project leader gifts were sponsored by Classic Bank, Bradley Plumbing, and EBCO General Contractors. 

Leading the Milam County 4-H will be officers: Chairman Abbigail Miller, First Vice Chairman Sydney Vaculin, Delegate at Large Colby Barton, Vice Chairman for 4-H Promotion Scott Widner, Vice Chairman Community Service Kassidy Hundle, Vice Chairman for Summer Activities Grant Widner, Secretary Marisol Hill, Treasurer Jacob Barron, Public Relations Officer JW Hollas, and Parliamentarian Jacob Pedroza.

The Milam County 4-H County Council Officers demonstrate leadership skills. They will provide leadership to younger 4-H members and be leaders in the Milam County 4-H program. They will be leading workshops and assisting County Extension Agents at their programs throughout the year. These are our leaders of tomorrow.

The following Club Managers and Project Leaders were recognized at the banquet. Club Managers: Cameron 4-H Club - Cassie Callahan and Carolyn Hux; Gause 4-H Club - Marcus and Amy Hill, Kelly Cooper, and Elizabeth Miller; Milano    4-H Club - Catrina Steinbecker and Dorcas Popham; Rockdale 4-H Club - Sharon McDaniel and Kelly Pickel; Thorndale 4-H Club - Cheryl Barron and Kassie Daniels; Shooting Sports 4-H Club - Keely Reisner and Stacey Pedroza; Milam County 4-H Financial Advisor - Theresa Hollas; Plant Identification Project Group - Irby McWilliams; Consumer Education Project Group - Micah Holcombe and Gail Hollas; Horse Judging Project Group - Cassie Callahan; Healthy Lifestyles Project Group - Kelly Cooper and Elizabeth Miller; 4-H FCH Coalition - Micah Holcombe, Elizabeth Miller, Darleen Tucker; Ag Product ID - Cindy Widner and Jocelyn Ramthun; Livestock Judging - Taylor Shearrer and Floyd Ingram.

Thank you to the following sponsors who helped make our 4-H Banquet a success: Anderle Lumber Company, Bradley Plumbing, Buckholts State Bank, Buddy and Marilyn Johnson, Cameron Chamber of Commerce , Circle S BBQ, Cameron Farm and Ranch Company, Cameron Lions Club, Citizens National Bank, Classic Bank, Congressman Bill Flores, County Judge Dave Barkemeyer, District Attorney- Bill Torrey, District Judge, John Youngblood, EBCO General Contractor, Ideal Poultry, Kellie Foster, USA Olympic Shooting Team, Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home, Cameron, Milam County Farm Bureau, Miller-Starnes Chevrolet-Buick, Rockdale, Phil and Debbie Konarik, Rockdale Memorial, Rodenbeck Farm and Ranch and Thorndale Meat Market, Steve Young, and The Bling Box.

We really want to say thank you to all of our supporters of the 4-H program and Banquet sponsors. It really means a lot to all the 4-H families to have such great support in our communities and Milam County. Thank you. We also want to thank Rockdale Peace Lutheran Church for a wonderful facility and for Paul and Rebecca Luckey, 4-H leaders, who helped make this facility a success. Thank you to all the leaders who helped make it a success! 

The new 4-H year has started. To re-enroll or join 4-H, please see our website This link will show you the steps to join as well as many important items for the 4-H year. Join us for 4-H fun.  

For information about any 4-H related activity, please go to the website or 

For more information about Milam County 4-H, please call the Milam County Extension Office at (254) 697-7045 or e-mail Micah Holcombe, FCH Agent, at or Floyd Ingram, Ag Agent, at