• By Ryan Farley, Extension Agent

4-H/Youth Development


Ask most 4-H alumni what activity, program or event they remember having the most impact on them and you generally get one of two answers. The first is 4-H Camp and how it created lasting friendships. The second, and by far the most popular answer, is the 4-H Speech and Demonstration contests. While public speaking for many is a fear through their whole life, giving a speech or demonstration in the 4-H program has been helping inspire and develop effective communicators for decades. On Jan. 26 another group of 4-Hers in Woodford County accomplished the task during the 2019 Woodford County 4-H Communications Contest and once again blew away the judges.

Featuring 46 4-H youth giving 48 speeches or demonstrations (yes, some gave both!), the 2019 Woodford County 4-H Communications Contest sought to provide a fun and encouraging environment to compete, receive feedback and celebrate 4-Hers seeking to develop the lifelong skill of public speaking. Serving as a partnership between the Versailles Kiwanis, Midway Toastmasters and the Woodford County 4-H Council, participants prepared either a speech or demonstration and delivered it in a room full of family, friends and two volunteer judges. Speeches had to be three to five minutes for junior 4-Hers (9-13 years old), five to seven minutes long for senior 4-Hers (14-18 years old) and topics varied widely with several 4-Hers practicing their 4-H Country Ham Project speeches from this year or last year and others selecting other topics of interest, such as the benefits of chocolate, livestock judging or wolves, to name a few. Demonstrations lasted five to 15 minutes long and featured such topics as musical instruments, DIY pinatas, woodworking and small engine maintenance.

The following youth were named champion of their age group (speech) or category (demonstrations) and should be recognized for their achievement:

• Kennedy Rudd (9-year-old Speech Champion)

• Gabby Gampper (10-year-old Speech Champion)

• Emorey Metzger (11-year-old Speech Champion)

• Eliana Lee (12-year-old Speech Champion)

• Cora Self (13-year-old Speech Champion

• Brianne Lacefield (14-year-old Speech Champion)

• Jackson Moffett (15-year-old Speech Champion)

• Gracie Metzger (16-year-old Speech Champion)

• Will Moffett (17-18-year-old Speech Champion)

• Sarah Vanzant (Jr. Foods Demonstration Champion)

• Addie Patterson (Jr. Visual Arts Demonstration Champion)

• Josiah Self (Jr. Natural Resources Demonstration Champion)

• Cooper Westfall (Jr. Performing Arts Demonstration Champion)

• Gabby Gampper (Jr. Software Presentation Demonstration Champion)

• Caroline Gribble (Jr. SET Demonstration Champion)

• Elizabeth Vanzant (Sr. Visual Arts Demonstration Champion)

• Nicholas Vanzant (Sr. FCS Demonstration Champion) For more information on programs in communications and the expressive arts, contact the Woodford County Extension Office by emailing ryan.farley@uky.edu or calling 859-873-4601.

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