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Milam County 4-Hers honored at 2021 Awards Banquet

The 2021 Milam County 4-H Banquet was held on Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Thorndale Fireman’s Hall in Thorndale. The afternoon program gave recognition to businesses and individuals for supporting the 4-H program and to 4-Hers achieving success in their projects and contests.

The most recognized and highest award for 4-H is the Gold Star Award. This award was presented to two desiring 4-H members. Kennedy Hobbs and Mason Leifeste received this award for 2021. 

The first Gold Star Recipient is Kennedy Hobbs of the  Thorndale 4-H Club, Kennedy is the daughter of Chad and Kristi Hobbs. 

Kennedy is a Senior in high school this year and has been a member of 4-H for 10 years. She Has a passion for showing livestock, livestock judging, and public speaking. She has served as a State Livestock Ambassador for 4 years. Currently she serves as Milam County 4-H County Council Chairman. She has helped lead livestock sessions at Ag in the Classroom for multiple years teaching youth about agriculture and joining 4-H. Kennedy is planning to attend Texas A&M University or Texas Tech University after graduation and pursue a major in Agricultural Economics followed by a graduate degree in the field of Ag Law.

The second Gold Star Recipient is Mason Leifeste of the Cameron 4-H Club, Mason is the son of Alan and Samantha Leifeste. 

Mason is a sophomore in high school, and this will be his 8th year as a Milam County 4-H member. Mason’s main projects throughout his 4-H career include showing steers and heifers, leadership, livestock judging, and agricultural sciences. Not only has he competed at every major show in the State of Texas but at the national level also, exhibiting at shows like the American Royal in Kansas City and the National Western in Denver and many more. He has stood in the champion drive at the Houston Livestock Show for the past 5 years. He has won the Supreme Overall Champion Heifer twice at the San Antonio Livestock Show and the Supreme Champion Heifer at the SFT/HOT, United Livestock Show. Mason serves this year as Club President, and he is a 2nd year Council Officer. Mason Plans to attend either Kansas State University or Texas A&M University in a few years. 

The I Dare You Award was presented to three outstanding 4-Hers.  The award is offered as recognition of excellence in character and well-balanced personal development as well as a demonstration of leadership.  Sponsors for the award were Phil and Debbie Konarik. 

Receiving this award for 2021 were Corley Callahan- Cameron 4-H Club: Corley Callahan is the daughter of Billy Mac and Cassie Callahan; Robert Miller-Gause 4-H Club: Robert is the son of Robert and Elizabeth Miller; Ryan Luckey- Rockdale 4-H Club: Ryan is the son of Paul and Rebecca Luckey. 

The Silver Star award is for 4-Hers ages 11-13. A recordbook is required to apply for this award. These awards are sponsored by David and Margia Barkemeyer of Cameron.  

These awards were won by Kenzie Hobbs- Thorndale 4-H Club, Kenzie Hobbs is the son of Chad and Kristi Hobbs; and Kenan Mingus- Cameron 4-H Club, Kenan is the daughter of Kenny and Heather Mingus.

The Bronze Star awards were sponsored by The Bling Box Boutique (Jeremy and Courtney Renaud). This award is for 4-Hers 8-10 years of age. Receiving this award were Karsyn Mingus- Cameron 4-H Club: Karsyn is the daughter of Kenny and Heather Mingus; Adyson Parker- Cameron 4-H Club: Adyson is the daughter of Rhett and Stacy Parker; and Sloan Sanders- Cameron 4-H Club: Sloan is the son of Clint and Lyndi Sanders.

Rockdale Memorial, Anderle Lumber Company, Bradley Plumbing, and The Bling Box Boutique sponsored the County Achievement awards. 

The Clover Award is for beginner members between the ages of 5-8. 4-Hers receiving this award were: Jaxson Clinard, Thorndale 4-H; Landree Leifeste, Cameron 4-H; James Holcombe, Cameron 4-H; and Mackenzie Holcombe, Cameron 4-H; and Wayde Woods, Cameron 4-H.

The Rookie Award which is available to any 4-Her in their first year of membership. The 4-Her receiving this award is Sloan Sanders, Cameron 4-H. 

The Honor Roll award is for Junior members between the ages of 8-10. 4-Hers receiving this award were Noah Bradley, Cameron 4-H; Luke Holcombe, Cameron 4-H; Karsyn Mingus, Cameron 4-H; Adyson Parker, Cameron 4-H; Sloan Sanders, Cameron 4-H; and Wyatt Woods, Cameron 4-H.

The All Star award winners are intermediate members ages 11-13. 4-Hers receiving this award were Hannah Bakken, Milano 4-H; Harleigh Barrett, Thorndale 4-H; Riley Clinard, Thorndale 4-H; Klaybourne Eschberger, Rockdale 4-H; Kenzie Hobbs, Thorndale 4-H; Shawn Leifeste, Cameron 4-H; Jack Luckey, Rockdale 4-H; Mackenzie Mahan, Cameron 4-H; Macy McDaniel, Rockdale 4-H; Kenan Mingus, Cameron 4-H; and Jadyn Parker, Cameron 4-H.

Letterman Achievement Awards Sponsored by: District Attorney-Bill Torrey, Cameron Farm and Ranch, Rockdale Credit Union, and Buddy and Marilyn Johnson. The Letterman award is for Senior members 14-18 years of age. 4-Hers receiving this award were JW Hollas Cameron 4-H; Hunter Hux, Cameron 4-H; Mason Leifeste, Cameron 4-H; Ryan Luckey, Rockdale 4-H; and Robert Miller, Gause 4-H

Each 4-H club honored a Top Leader and Top Supporter. Club Top Leaders Gifts were sponsored by Steve Young and 4-H Clubs. Those honored were: Cameron 4-H Club: Theresa Hollas; Gause 4-H Club: Marcus and Amy Hill; Rockdale 4-H Club: Sharon McDaniel and Rebecca Luckey; Shooting Sports 4-H Club: Tarrin Warren, and Thorndale 4-H Club: Abbey Davis.

Cameron 4-H Club: Milam County Junior Livestock Association; Gause 4-H Club: Gause ISD; Rockdale 4-H Club: Rockdale Fair Association; Shooting Sports 4-H Club: New Salem Extension Education Association; Thorndale 4-H Club: Jeff Barron (Remax Realtors). 

Texas Shooting Sports team competed at the National level this year, and we want to congratulate Addie Reisner for competing on the team. We also had the Consumer and Healthy Lifestyles team compete at the National level from Milam County. These youth were recognized as well. Wylie Barrett– Healthy Lifestyles

Colby Green– Consumer, Mallory McDaniel– Consumer/Healthy Lifestyles,  Abbigail Miller– Consumer/Healthy Lifestyles, and Grant Widner– Consumer/Healthy Lifestyles. This National Recognition was

sponsored by Perry and Perry Builders of Rockdale.  

Milam County 4-H members serving as Ambassadors were recognized. 2020-2021 Ambassador Awards were

sponsored by Perry and Perry Builders & Texas Propane. Photography– Wylie Barrett, Healthy Lifestyles,  Livestock– Kennedy Hobbs, Water– Gabriel Ramthun, and Shooting Sports- Addie Reisner. 

County Recordbook awards were presented by Club Managers. Citizens National Bank and Livestock Nutrition Center sponsored the 4-H recordbook pins. 

4-Hers receiving awards: Cameron 4-H Club – Brady Barton, Connor Barton, Wylie Butler, Corley Callahan, James Holcombe, Luke Holcombe, Mackenzie Holcombe, JW Hollas, Hunter Hux, Landree Leifeste, Mason Leifeste, Shawn Leifeste, Mackenzie Mahan, Karsyn Mingus, Kenan Mingus, Adyson Parker, Jadyn Parker, Sloan Sanders, and Wyatt Woods; Gause 4-H Club - Robert Miller; Milano 4-H Club- Hannah Bakken; Rockdale 4-H Club – Klay Eschberger, Jack Luckey, Ryan Luckey, and Mallory McDaniel; Thorndale 4-H Club - Harleigh Barrett, Wylie Barrett, Jaxson Clinard, Riley Clinard, Natalie Garcia, Kennedy Hobbs, Kenzie Hobbs, and Gabriel Ramthun.

Milam County 4-Hers are involved in many projects and contests throughout the year. Here is a listing of what 4-H has to offer in Milam County: Ag Product ID, Calf Scramble , 4-H Camp and day camps,  Consumer Decision Making, District Leadership Lab, Food Show/Challenge, Duds to Dazzle, Healthy Lifestyles, Horse Judging, Livestock Judging, Local and Major Livestock Shows, One Day 4-H, Photography, Plant ID and Range Evaluation, State Roundup Contests, Scholarship, Shooting Sports Contests, State Brigades, Texas Water Ambassador, Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador, Livestock Ambassador and Texas 4-H Congress.

The Mr. and Miss for Milam County 4-H were given to Shawn Leifeste and Mackenzie Mahan of the Cameron 4-H Club, and Jace Davis & Taylor Faske of Thorndale 4-H Club were named Prince and Princess 4-H. State Farm Insurance– Julie Sulak was the sponsor of these plaques. 

2022 Graduating High School Seniors were recognized and they gave speeches on their reflection of 4-H. Graduating Senior Awards were sponsored by Cameron Autoplex and District Judge John Youngblood. Seniors honored were Wylie Barrett, Thorndale 4-H, Kennedy Hobbs, Thorndale 4-H, Hunter Hux, Cameron 4-H, and Mallory McDaniel, Rockdale 4-H. 

The 2021-2022 4-H County Council Officers and Club Managers/Project Leaders were recognized. County Council Officer Pins and Club and Project Leader Gifts were sponsored by Classic Bank, EBCO General Contractor, and Budget Host Inn and Suites. Leading the Milam County 4-H will be officers:  Chairman Kennedy Hobbs; First Vice Chairman Robert Miller; Delegate at Large Marisol Hill; Vice Chairman for 4-H Promotion Mason Leifeste; Vice Chairman Community Service Natalie Garcia; Vice Chairman for Summer Activities Wylie Barrett; Secretary Macie Vaculin; Treasurer Mallory McDaniel; Public Relations Officer Hunter Hux; and Parliamentarian JW Hollas.The Milam County 4-H County Council Officers demonstrate leadership skills. They will provide leadership to younger 4-H members and be leaders in the Milam County 4-H program. They will be leading workshops and assisting County Extension Agents at their programs throughout the year. These are our leaders of tomorrow!

The following Club Managers and Project Leaders were recognized at the banquet. Club managers recognized were: Cameron 4-H Club: Samantha Leifeste; Gause 4-H Club: Amy Hill and Elizabeth Miller; Milano 4-H Club: Shirley Arentz and Marie Bakken; Rockdale 4-H Club: Sharon McDaniel and Tina Bartsch; Thorndale 4-H Club: Becky Garcia and Kristi Hobbs; Shooting Sports 4-H Club: Keely Reisner; Milam County 4-H Financial Advisor: Amy Hill; Plant Identification Project Group: Irby McWilliams; Consumer Education Project Group: Micah Holcombe; Horse Judging Project Group: Cassie Callahan and Lyndi Sanders; Healthy Lifestyles Project Group: Elizabeth Miller; 4-H FCH Coalition: Micah Holcombe, Elizabeth Miller, April Eschberger; Ag Product ID: Micah Holcombe and Klay Eschberger; and Livestock Judging: Taylor Shearrer and Floyd Ingram.

We really want to say thank you to all of our supporters of the 4-H program and Banquet sponsors. It really means a lot to all the 4-H families to have such great support in our communities and Milam County. Thank you. We also want to thank Thorndale VFD for a wonderful facility and for Becky Garcia and Kristi Hobbs, 4-H leaders, who helped make this banquet a success. Thank you to all the members, clubs, and leaders who helped make it a success! 

For information and resources on these great 4-H related activities, please go to the website or facebook page! or For more information about Milam County 4-H, please call the Milam County Extension Office at 254-697-7045 or email Micah Holcombe, FCS Agent, at or Floyd Ingram, Ag Agent, at

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902