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New Mexico students capture titles at National 4-H Conference

Eighteen students from across New Mexico, including New Mexico State University and local high schools, won championships at the 4-H and FFA Western National Roundup, Jan. 9-12, in Denver.

A group of boys standing and girls sitting show off their championship ribbons.
Eighteen students from New Mexico State University and high schools across New Mexico won championships at the 4-H and FFA Western National Roundup in Denver. Students representing Dona Ana County won Reserve National Champions and the team included (standing left to right) Eva Madrid, 4-H Agent, Randy Woodall, Garrett Coletti, Josh Adams, Teresa Dean, 4-H Agent (sitting left to right) Katy Combs, Lily Woodall, Elena Davidson and Sharlae Brown. (Courtesy photo)
Four girls are standing and holding trophies.
At the 4-H and FFA Western National Roundup in Denver, one of the team's representing New Mexico and Bernalillo County was named champion of the Family and Consumer Sciences Skill-a-thon; (left to right) Kelsey Hayes, Halee Lusk, Molly Thomas and Emma Wellman. (Courtesy photo)

Students from Las Cruces High School, Arrowhead Early College High School, NMSU and three home-schooled students were named Reserve National Champions in Parliamentary Procedure and Prepared Public Speaking.

The Parliamentary Procedure team included Josh Adams and Elena Davidson (Las Cruces High School), Katy Combs (Arrowhead Early College High School), Garrett Coletti and Lilly Woodall (home schooled) and Randy Woodall (NMSU). They competed in a five-team field.

Each of the contests required the students to present their skills before a panel of judges. The Parliamentary Procedure team consisted of six members representing a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter or recreation leader or club member. The team was required to present a model meeting not to exceed 20 minutes in length. The team was judged based upon how they conducted their meeting according to the items of business presented to them and the correct execution of all motions and actions required of them.

"As a coach, it's hard to coordinate schedules for six youth to practice and learn parliamentary procedure, but these youth were extremely dedicated for an entire year," said Teresa Dean, Dona Ana County 4-H agent. "They had a goal in mind and worked extremely hard to make their goal a reality."

Sharlae Brown (Las Cruces High School) competed in Prepared Public Speaking, which included a field of 12 students.

The Prepared Public Speaking contest required students to prepare and memorize a speech on a topic relevant to today's youth and present a six to eight-minute speech to a panel of judges. Scoring was based on organization of speech content, overall quality, voice control, pronunciation and enunciation, language effectiveness, projection to audience and general appearance.

"Sharlae wrote a speech about her family farm, putting a lot of heart and soul into it," Dean said. "It is great to have a youth find a subject that they can speak on with such passion."

These students qualified to represent the state of New Mexico at the Western National Roundup by winning first place in Parliamentary Procedure and Prepared Public Speaking, respectively, at the 4-H County Contest in June 2013 and at the New Mexico State 4-H Conference in July 2013.

The Quay County team was named champions of the Family and Consumer Sciences Bowl, and the members included Ashlee Bradley, Aleahna Branch and Taylor Hayes from Tucumcari High School and Wyatt Bishop from House High School.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Bowl consisted of four teams. The teams took a written test and then competed in a double elimination bowl tournament. Quay County won each of their matches. The questioning included problems where just one member of each team can try to answer, toss-up questions that any team member can answer, and bonus questions, which the team can work together to answer.

"These kids have been working toward this goal since they were novices, and the Quay County teams do well at the district level as well," said Brenda Bishop, Quay County 4-H agent. "This team won the state competition the previous year, but were too young to go to nationals, so they set a goal to study hard and win again. Most of the materials for the national competition were new materials, so we worked hard making up practice questions and learning new material."

The team from Bernalillo County was named champion of the Family and Consumer Sciences Skill-a-thon, which included four teams with 15 participants. The team members were Kelsey Hayes (Sandia High School), high point individual; Molly Thomas (home schooled), fifth high individual; Emma Wellman (Albuquerque Academy) and Halee Lusk (Moriarty High School).

"These girls worked very hard this year from qualifying at county, winning state and now taking National Western 4-H Round Up," said Cassidy Cordova, Bernalillo County 4-H agent. "They have made it a goal to train younger teams this year, and they are going to put on our county home economics skill-a-thon contest. It's a great honor to call these youth Bernalillo County 4-H'ers, you couldn't ask for a more deserving group, we are very proud of these young ladies. Thank you to the 4-H Foundation for their support in helping get this team to Western Roundup."

The Catron County team claimed 11th high team overall in livestock judging, and the members included Ky Drummond (home schooled), Kacy Drummond (Clarendon College) and Ty Gatlin (Reserve High School). The team also was fourth in team beef. Ky Drummond finished 11th high individual and seventh high individual sheep, and Gatlin placed 10th high individual cattle.

Additionally, the Catron County livestock judging team also competed at the Arizona national livestock judging contest in December, and won first place team overall, first in sheep, cattle, reasons and fifth in swine. Kacy Drummond was second high individual, third in sheep, second in swine, second in beef and fourth in reasons. Ky Drummond was seventh overall and first in sheep. Gatlin was fourth in beef and ninth in reasons. DeLanie Gatlin (Reserve High School) also was a team member at the Arizona national competition.

"These members have worked very hard over the last year, and their efforts have led to success for them," said Tracy Drummond, Catron County 4-H agent.

More than 800 students from throughout the United States attended the Western National Roundup, which is now in its 94th year.