The West Virginia 4-H Youth in Action Program recognized four young leaders in 2021 in the 4-H core pillar areas of agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living, and STEM.
Levi Wright received the award for agriculture; Caroline Fox received the award for civic engagement; Rosa Williams received the award for healthy living; and John Allen received the award for STEM. Join us each Thursday in May to learn more about our 2021 Youth in Action award winners.
Each of the four winners received a $500 mini-grant to develop a significant community project, recognition at a formal award ceremony, a full scholarship to attend West Virginia 4-H Older Members Conference, an opportunity to be featured as the West Virginia 4-H Youth Spokesperson for their pillar area, support and mentorship to apply for the 2022 National 4-H Youth in Action Awards, and an official reference letter from the West Virginia State 4-H Program Leader, Brent Clark.
Youth who would like to be considered for the 2022 Youth in Action award in any of the pillar areas should self-nominate by completing and submitting the online nomination found at https://wvu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cG5XvMmXJStuXm6. Nominations opened on May 1 and close at 11:59 p.m. EST on May 31.
Wright, the recipient of the Youth in Action agriculture award and resident of Mason County, developed a passion for 4-H and agriculture through his market hog and potato production projects. This interest has grown into a profitable production agricultural business for Wright. He uses the profits to save for his future college expenses and make a difference in his local community.
For example, as a cooperator in the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) Potato Projects, Wright and his family raised one acre of potatoes each year for a three year period. These potatoes were raised under best management practices, graded, and packaged by the WVDA and mostly sold in the WV Farm to School Program. Others have been donated to a local 4-H Club in Mason County to support their annual public festival. The potatoes were used to make soup that was served during the event.
However, one of the things that Wright is most proud of is how his one pig per year market hog project has developed into a full-fledged swine production project. In 2020, Wright and his family were able to offer 39 high quality pigs for sale to other 4-H and FFA members.
In summary, Levi's years in production agriculture 4-H projects has resulted in 27 market hogs raised or personally shown (three per year), eight sows bread and farrowed, more than 40 pigs raised and sold to 4-H and FFA members in Ohio and WV, between three and four acres of potatoes raised each year, and five tons of potatoes sold in Farm to School Program.
When asked how 4-H has inspired him, Wright said, "4-H has inspired me to take advantage of the many opportunities my local and state 4-H program has offered. Several opportunities that have been beneficial to me overtime are the market hog, vegetable gardening, and potato production projects."
He continued by saying, "In addition to exhibiting my projects at the county fair, I've been able to develop them into a profit making venture that has allowed me to save money for my post-secondary education and provide high quality agricultural products to my community."
Wright concluded with, "Being a member of 4-H has allowed me to develop relationships with my family, the county Extension agents, and 4-H volunteers. It is through these partnerships that I have learned, grown, and developed. I will be forever grateful for 4-H."
If this inspired you, consider applying for the 2022 awards (with support from an adult such as your 4-H club leader, volunteer, or parents/guardians) using the online nomination form at https://wvu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cG5XvMmXJStuXm6. For more information about this award program, please visit our webpage at https://extension.wvu.edu/youth-family/4h/join/west-virginia-4h-youth-in-action-awards-program.