4-H honors volunteers, lists 2019 accomplishments
ENTERPRISE, Ore – Wallowa County 4-H programs rely heavily on the dozens of adults who volunteer their time supporting both clubs and the annual county fair. This past year two community members were officially recognized for their dedication.
In the fall of 2019, Deena McFetridge was honored with the Wallowa County 4-H Volunteer of the Year award for what 4-H Extension Agent Debi Warnock called her many years of support to the program.
Warnock said each year McFetridge sponsors 4-H awards and donates to the 4-H Radio Auction. She also helps with the spring and county fair livestock weigh-ins and the beef show during the fair. Because McFetridge is a great cook, Warnock said she was asked to organize the spring livestock judging contest barbecue.
“Deena is cheerful, creative and dedicated. She is always looking for a way to make things better, even if there is nothing wrong,” Warnock said.
The OSU Extension Cooperator Awards were presented in late 2019 in Corvallis, but Susan Roberts, the Wallowa County recipient, was unable to attend. Warnock presented Roberts with her Cooperators Award at the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners meeting on February 3.
Warnock’s nomination provided an extensive list of Roberts’ contributions to 4-H – serving on the Extension Citizen Advisory Network, the Extension budget committee, the 4-H Association Board and on the selection committees for the 4-H court, scholarships, and awards.
Warnock said, “Susan enjoys interviewing 4-H members and seeing how they grow over the years. We are lucky to have a County Commissioner as a partner for the OSU Extension Service and the 4-H program.”
Some of the “behind-the-scenes” work Warnock credited Roberts with was helping move the 4-H Radio Auction, an important fundraising event, to the courthouse one year when there was a problem with the phone system. For many years Roberts could be found at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds Cloverleaf Hall sanding and screen printing the “buyer boards” given to livestock purchasers at the county fair.
“If there is a job to be done and it is in need of a volunteer, Susan is always willing to help if it is within her capabilities and we are finding that her capabilities are vast,” Warnock said.
Warnock also gave a run-down of 4-H Extensions work in 2019 at the Feb. 3 Board of Commissioners meeting. She said the county has active horse, dog, livestock, shooting, foods, clothing, scrapbooking, photography, leadership, and communication 4-H clubs.
In 2019 Warnock said local 4-H members participated in national events that took them to Nebraska, Idaho, Georgia and Washington D.C. for competitions and leadership development.
This was the thirteenth year Wallowa County 4-H Extension participated in the Urban-Rural Exchange program, partnering with Portland schools, the Metro 4-H program, Wallowa County
Schools, Wallowa County Stockgrowers and Wallowa County 4-H volunteers and host families. The program exposes urban students to rural life on farms and ranches and rural participants to a few days of life in the big city of Portland.
Outside of the traditional 4-H club activities, Warnock said her office works with kids in school enrichment programs like nutrition, natural science, and embryology as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program education.
During the summer months, she said Extension was one of the partners involved in the federal Summer Meal Program offered in some of the county’s city parks.
For older adults, Extension offers the Walk with Ease Program at Cloverleaf Hall. While walking is the central activity, Walk with Ease is a multi-component program that also includes health education, stretching and strengthening exercises and motivational strategies.
Finally, Warnock told the commissioners that the Extension office offered a variety of food preservation classes, community nutrition classes, and a life skills program at Enterprise High School.