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4-H alumni receive Quilts of Valor

November 13, 2018

4-Hers and their families gathered Sunday afternoon for the annual Achievement Program.

Two Quilts of Valor were also awarded during the ceremony to two brothers and Gage County 4-H alumni.

Shad and Taylor Siebrandt were deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed, both earned several awards for professional achievements, including the Army Accommodation Medal. After their yearlong mobilization they returned home safely to their families.

Shad finished his contract with the military. He is currently farming and ranching near Jansen with his wife and two daughters.

Taylor continues to serve in the military and serves as the Administrative and State Training NCO for the Nebraska Military Funeral Honors program.

Both Shad and Taylor were in 4-H for 11 years and now have a cow/calf operation together.

“Please know that your family, friends, community and country appreciate what you have done,” said Jane Esau, Gage County 4-H coordinator, during the ceremony. “This quilt is a tangible, meaningful measure of our gratitude for your service to our country.”

The Best Foot Forward 4-H Club was recognized for 60 years as a club. Today their membership is 34, taking part in livestock and home economics projects. Current leadership is provided by Lawrence Penner (44 years), Don Esau (43 years), Amy Gerlach, Lori Rempel and Colleen Herfel.

The 3-Gs 4-H Club was chartered in 1968 as Gage’s Gallant Gallopers. 3-Gs was originally associated with the Friendship 7 4-H Club and became too large at 69 members. With 27 members, they focus on education and riding skills in the horse project. Current leadership team is Annie Erichsen, Casey Moss, Jim and Janet Lancaster.

Quilt Stitches of Beatrice was recognized with the 2018 4-H Business Recognition Award. It is a full-service retail sewing and quilt shop. Ann Freese purchased the business in June 2017. The store became a Certified Quilts of Valor Store in 2018. With the formation of Freedom Quilters of Nebraska, adults and youth have constructed and presented 25 Quilts of Valor.

Simmons Hatchery of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was presented a plaque in June by Paul Hay to thank them for their work with Gage County 4-H. Annually about 700 chicks are grown for about six weeks and by 4-H members at the Gage County Fair.

David Barnard, Tri County Agriculture education instructor and FFA adviser, received the Friend of 4-H Award.

Carla Harvey was given the 4-H Alumni Award for her work as a volunteer, parent and supporter of Gage County 4-H.

Ashtyn Humphreys of Wymore earned the Diamond Clover Level Six award for over 100 hours of community service work in vertical gardening.

Halie Parde, Emily Rempel and Margee Jane Harvey received the Junior Division Exmark Excellence in 4-H Award. The Senior Division recipients were Melina Kostal, Ashtyn Humphreys and Jaslin Blythe.

Caleb Oltman and Andrew Harvey were named Kids of Character with an award sponsored by Kay and Larry McKinzie.

Many other youth earned 4-H project awards, scholarships and Diamond Clover level awards. Some were even recognized for 10 years of membership. A few were given Hard Luck Awards, Flops of the Year and Most Memorable Experience.

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