Hood River youth receives state 4-H awards

Payton Rigert, a nine-year member of the Hood River County 4-H, received two state recognitions at the annual OSU 4-H Summer Conference in Corvallis.

The State 4-H Recognition Committee selected Rigert for the H. Joe Myers Memorial 4-H Scholarship. Myers spent 32 years as a 4-H professional. After starting his career as the 4-H agent in Linn County, in 1948 he moved to Marion County and the state 4-H office. He was State 4-H program leader from 1971 to 1980. During Myers’ years as program leader, Oregon developed a strong international 4-H program, and to this day, Oregon has hosted more Japanese students than any other state 4-H program.

This scholarship award is a tribute to Rigert’s outstanding 4-H work, her involvement in school and community activities, and her impressive academic record, said Debbie McDonald of Hood River OSU Extension. Rigert, a 2016 Hood River Valley High School graduate, will apply the award to her college expenses at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., starting this fall, where she is majoring in biology.

Rigert was also awarded the 4-H State Senior Leadership Award. This state level award is available to one senior 4-H member who demonstrates outstanding contributions in the area of leadership. Applicants were evaluated on the following criteria: overall strength of the applicant’s 4-H work in leadership; an understanding of how the applicant’s contribution has made a difference in the lives of others; and an understanding of how the applicant has grown through this work. Payton’s 4-H projects have included rabbits, cavies, poultry, goats, leadership, and presentations. Over her 4-H career, she has been a County 4-H Ambassador, a State 4-H Ambassador, an Oregon Delegate for the 4-H National Congress and served on the Youth Leadership Team for National Congress.

4-H has been a huge part of Rigert’s life, and she says that because of 4-H, she has new friends, new skills, and animals that she loves. Rigert has also traveled to interesting places and has made relationships that will last a lifetime. As one of the National 4-H Congress speakers put it, “4-H is a stepping-stone to greatness.”

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