- Author: Ashley Pyler
On Saturday, May 4th, thirteen Ventura County 4-H'ers participated in Southern Area 4-H Field Day which takes place at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, California each year.
Not everyone gets to present at Southern Area 4-H Field Day. In order to give a presentation at this event, you had to win a Gold Medal at your county presentation event first. However, you do not have to win Gold at county presentation day to compete in the Interview Contest at Southern Area Field Day. Since not everyone gets the opportunity to compete at this event for various reasons, all of the 4-H members present at the event were very honored and eager to compete.
This was a very long day for everyone competing. Check-in started at 7:45 in the morning. After check-in concluded, the members went on with their days, going to the rooms they were assigned to for their 4-H presentations and interviews. Members from Ventura County 4-H participated in the following categories: Illustrated Talk, Interpretive Reading, State Format Impromptu Speech, Area Impromptu Speech, Extemporaneous Speech, Educational Display Talk, Science or Engineering Presentation, Cultural Arts, and the Interview Contest.
In addition to all of the other 4-H presentations and the 4-H Interview Contest, there were several fun walk-in stations at the event happening as well to keep the members busy in between events. Perhaps the most popular station was the Entomology Contest Station. At this walk-in event, members would sit down and take a knowledge test for their age division about insects. Depending on how they did against other kids in their age division, they were awarded Gold Medals, Blue Seals, Red Seals, or White Seals at the end of the day. The Entomology Contest was run by a leader and three members from Ventura County 4-H. The adult leader in charge was Edith Sorensen from Conejo/Simi Valley 4-H Club, and the three youth volunteers helping to run the station were Anna Sorensen from Conejo/Simi Valley 4-H, Adler Striegel from Loma Vista 4-H, and Ashley Pyler from Loma Vista 4-H.
Some of the other walk-in stations throughout the day included a community service station where members made dog toys for local animal shelters in L.A. County, a STEM station where members made miniature monsters in paper cups by combining two chemicals, a Primary Clinic with activities just for Primary Members, and a Fashion Knowledge Contest where members could take knowledge tests about fashion knowledge (similar to how the Entomology Station was run).
After 4-H presentations, the 4-H Interview Contest, and walk-in stations had concluded, it was time for the final part of the competition. Each year at Southern Area 4-H Field Day, Cultural Arts Presentations and Share the 4-H Fun Skits are always at the end of the day, and take place in an auditorium where everyone can gather around, and watch the presentations/skits.
This year, there was only one Cultural Arts Presentation from Ventura County 4-H and it was presented by Ashley Pyler of Loma Vista 4-H. She talked about why she likes playing the piano and played "One Man's Dream" by Yanni on her keyboard. She was awarded a Gold Medal, and she was very proud to take her presentation to California State 4-H Field Day at UC Davis on June 1st to represent Ventura County 4-H at the state level.
The awards ceremony was held in the same auditorium as Cultural Arts Presentations and Share the 4-H Fun Skits. This year, all of the presentations and skits took 2 1/2 hours to complete, so all of the 4-H members had to wait very patiently for the awards ceremony to come. Once it did, however, the members were on the edge of their seats to see if their many hours of hard work and dedication had paid off, and if they had qualified for this year's state presentation competition at California State 4-H Field Day.
After the awards ceremony had concluded, everyone was proud of what they had accomplished, and they were more than ready to go home after a very long day down at Mount SAC. Everyone that got a Gold Medal in any presentation category was eligible to present that exact same presentation at California State 4-H Field Day at UC Davis on June 1st, with the exception of the walk-in events (Entomology, Fashion, etc.), and the 4-H Interview Contest, which are known as non-qualifying events. The 4-H members that earned Gold Medals for multiple presentations at Southern Area 4-H Field were only allowed to present one presentation at California State 4-H Field Day, along with participating in the 4-H Interview Contest.
Out of the thirteen members from Ventura County 4-H that participated in this year's Southern Area 4-H Field Day Event, five of them will be attending California State 4-H Field Day on June 1st. These hard-working members are Ashley Pyler (Intermediate Member with the Loma Vista 4-H Club), Adeline Vertucci (Intermediate Member with the Loma Vista 4-H Club), Livia Vertucci (Senior Member with the Loma Vista 4-H Club), Samuel "Sammy" Beylik (Junior Member of the Conejo/Simi Valley 4-H Club), and Kaylee Tan (Junior Member of the Conejo/Simi Valley 4-H Club). As a group, the Ventura County 4-H'ers won 24 Gold Medals, 5 Blue Seals, and 2 Red Seals. The leaders of all the clubs in Ventura County are very proud of all of the 4-H'ers who participated at this event.
- Author: Ashley Pyler
On Saturday, May 11th, 44 members of Ventura County 4-H attended an event called Ventura County 4-H Large and Small Animal Field Day. The Loma Vista, Conejo/Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Somis, Briggs, and Mupu 4-H clubs were all represented at the event this year. This event takes place each year in April or May, and the purpose of the event is for 4-H members all over Ventura County to test their knowledge about large and small animals by competing in various competitions. This year, the event was held at the Santa Rosa Clubhouse in Camarillo, California.
This was a long day for those who were competing, as check-in began at 7:00 a.m. After check-in concluded, the fun activities began. Due to the fact that this event had so many activities, it was two separate events in past years, with large animal events and small animal events happening on different days. However, since spring becomes so busy for 4-H events, it was decided that they would combine into one huge event this year.
Since there are so many activities at this event, there are two Project Development Committees (PDCs) needed to make this event a success. The Large Livestock PDC is responsible for planning all of the large animal activities at the event, and the Small Animal PDC is responsible for planning all of the small animal activities.
Some of the activities that the Large Livestock PDC planned were: goat showmanship, market lamb showmanship, 4-H uniform exchange, horse riding, table settings, poster competition, photography competition, and the Swine Bowl. Many 4-H members present at the event enjoyed watching the youth practice their large animal showmanship in front of the judge to be better prepared for the Ventura County Fair in August.
Another fun activity that happened involving large animals was the Swine Bowl. The six members that participated were divided into two teams of three. Both teams had a lot of fun while learning more about swine. 4-H members from the Briggs, Mupu, Somis, and Loma Vista 4-H clubs participated in the Swine Bowl.
The activities that the Small Animal PDC planned for the event included a rabbit showmanship workshop, rabbit hopping course, Rabbit Knowledge Bowl, cavy showmanship workshop, cavy racing course, and Dog Knowledge Bowl.
Other activities included Poultry Knowledge Bowl, Egg Knowledge Bowl, guest speakers from various organizations, a craft station, silent auction, animal senses station, and a community service station where members made dog toys out of clothes for animal shelters in Ventura County.
There were two guest speakers at the event who had their own booths. First, there was a group of guest speakers from Guide Dogs of America (GDA) talking about their experiences with the program, and how training puppies for the blind has impacted their lives.
The second guest speaker was a representative from the California Hamster Association talking about how rescuing hamsters has changed her life.
There were only two events that both the Large Livestock and Small Animal Sciences PDCs had in common: the photography poster contests. In the poster contest, members submitted posters that they had made about their chosen animal to show what they had learned. There were posters about many different kinds of animals including dogs, cats, poultry, rabbits, cavies, goats, market lambs, swine, and cattle. Members had to be currently enrolled in the particular animal project that they chose to make the poster about. Members participating in the photography contest did not have to currently be enrolled in their club's photography project to submit photos. Most of the photos were animals, but there were also some photos of buildings, cars, boats, flowers, and people.
After the event had already been taking place for several hours, it was then time to announce the awards at the awards ceremony. The names of the winners were read by Ventura County 4-H County Ambassadors Shelby Wright and Emily Santos of Somis 4-H.
Everyone who attended this event really appreciates the hard work and many hours of dedication that the Planning Development Committees (PDCs) put in to plan and execute their respective competitions. There were two people that made this year's event a smashing success: Mrs. Virginia H. Reyes, Club Leader of Briggs 4-H and the 2018-2019 Large Livestock PDC Chair who was responsible for planning all of the large animal activities, and Mrs. Amylynn Robinson of Conejo-Simi Valley 4-H who was the 2018-2019 Small Animal PDC Chair and responsible for planning all of the small animal activities. Without these two wonderful ladies, Ventura County 4-H could not have had this amazing event. Everyone at the event learned a lot about different kinds of animals, and all participants greatly benefited from all of the knowledge they gained. All the 4-H members were glad they attended the event and will use the knowledge that they gained to help other people and animals for years to come.
- Author: Claire Boone
It was a true honor to be able to speak about 4-H to the CAPS TV viewers. I was excited to work with Shelby Wright, Ventura County 4-H Ambassador and Adler Streigel of Loma Vista 4-H, an active member in local, area and state events. As a team, we were able to share our experiences so that television viewers of the CAPS TV programming could understand and become interested in 4-H.
The three of us met prior to the interview to talk about the types of experiences we wanted to share. Since Shelby is an Ambassador, she shared about Leadership activities. Adler also talked about the Southern Area Youth Summit. I explained how we give our hands to larger service by telling viewers about the variety of community service projects that 4-H members do. Adler also shared about the Fashion Revue and Presentation Day. She wore the dress that she made in 4-H.
Being on TV was a fun and exciting experience! I was actually also very nervous. The best part of the experience was working with Shelby and Adler and having an opportunity to share how fun 4-H is!
- Author: Ashley Pyler
On Wednesday, March 13th, Dr. Michael Giacopuzzi, DVM (nicknamed Dr. Mike), gave a speech from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to Ventura County 4-H'ers. Dr. Mike was born in 1951 and has been serving Ventura County pet owners for over 25 years as the owner of Humphrey, Giacopuzzi & Associates Equine Hospital, and he has been the head veterinarian for the Ventura County Fair.
The Briggs, Loma Vista, Conejo/Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley (SRV), Somis, Mupu, Sespe, and Chief Peak 4-H Clubs all had club members and leaders present at the event. This event was hosted by the Large Livestock Program Development Committee (PDC).
Dr. Mike and three people from his veterinary clinic came to speak about how to ensure that your large animal is ready for the 2019 Ventura County Fair in August, the rules and procedures for their clinic, and how they have helped local 4-H, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and Grange Youth Clubs over the years.
The veterinary team spoke at the University of California Hansen Agricultural Resource and Extension Center (UC HAREC) at 287 S Briggs Road in Santa Paula. The team gave their presentation in the Large Barn. Many 4-H members and leaders were eager to see the presentation. There were approximately 115 4-H members and leaders present at the event to catch a glimpse of the iconic Dr. Mike. There were so many people in attendance, the room ran out of chairs, so there was only standing room available at the end of the evening.
Everyone who attended the event immensely appreciates that Dr. Mike and his staff took the time from their busy schedules to come out to educate the 4-H youth about large livestock care and veterinary medicine. The time and effort that the Large Livestock PDC put in to organize and host this event is also very much appreciated. Last but not least, the event would have not have been a success without Mrs. Virginia H. Reyes (the Briggs 4-H Club Co-Leader, and the PDC Chair for the Large Livestock Planning Development Committee). The event was an enjoyable and educational experience for all those who attended.
- Author: Ashley Pyler
On the morning of Saturday, March 23rd, 36 Ventura County 4-H members gathered at the University of California Hansen Agricultural Resource and Extension Center (UCHAREC). Nine of the 36 members were with the Loma Vista 4-H Club. Members were also represented from the Conejo/Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley (SRV), and Mupu 4-H Clubs.
These members were here to attend the Annual 2019 Ventura County 4-H Presentation Day Event. All of these members have spent many hours preparing for this event, and were very excited to now finally go through with their presentations and interviews. However, the members were also somewhat nervous to present themselves in front of their evaluators. All of the presenters were wondering if they had prepared themselves enough for this very morning.
The event began at 9:00 a.m. with an orientation briefing presenters as to what to expect throughout the day. Once orientation concluded, all of the presenters went their own separate ways to complete all of their presentations and interviews. It was up to each presenter to determine their individual schedules. Members presented presentations in the following categories: Illustrated Talk, Demonstration, Science/Engineering Presentation, Education Display Talk, Interpretive Reading, Share the 4-H Fun Skits, and Cultural Arts.
The most common category that members competed in was the Illustrated Talk category. Several members also competed in the Interview Contest. This contest provides job descriptions, and each member competing creates a resume and cover letter matching their chosen job description for their age. They then bring their resume and cover letter with them to the interview, and practice their interviewing skills.
Presenters that felt very confident with their presenting skills took part in the Impromptu Speech Category. Many presentation evaluators consider this to be the hardest 4-H presentation category. To start, members are given a topic to present about. They then have 3 minutes to prepare an entire presentation with an introduction, body, summary, and conclusion. The presenters must also site their sources. To help them gather their thoughts, members are given a pencil and 5" x 7" flashcard. Once the 3 minutes are up, the presenter must stop writing, and give their presentation (their presentation must be 2-5 minutes in length).
Once most of the presentations were over, everyone ate their lunch, and watched the final two presentations of the day. The first presentation was an enjoyable Share the 4-H Fun Skit. About a dozen members of the Mupu 4-H club dressed up in their costumes and delivered a fun and humorous skit. The final presentation for the day was the only Cultural Arts Presentation for all of Ventura County 4-H and was presented by Ashley Pyler of the Loma Vista 4-H Club. She talked about Yanni, who is one of her favorite piano composers, and then played an excerpt of "One Man's Dream".
After the Cultural Arts Presentation was over, it was then time to announce the awards. Everyone from the Loma Vista 4-H Club did very well that day, but three of the nine Loma Vista 4-H members had a different perspective of the entire event. Alexander Blomquist, Rachel Lipscomb, and Matthew Ziegler were all first time presenters.
Alexander participated in the Fashion Revue and also presented a Science/Engineering Presentation. Rachel Lipscomb submitted photos in the photo contest, participated in Fashion Revue, presented an Illustrated Talk (Digital Slides) about why beagles make great pets for families, and applied for the position of Smoothie Maker with "Smooth Fruit Shack" in the Interview Contest. Matthew Ziegler presented an Interpretive Reading Presentation, participated in the Plant Science Judging Competition, and applied for position of Movie Clerk with "Reel Theaters" in the Interview Contest. All three of the first-time Loma Vista 4-H presenters did a phenomenal job at their first 4-H Presentation Day, and all three of them will excel with 4-H presentations for several years into the future.
After the awards ceremony had concluded, a generous group of 4-H'ers stayed late to assist with the event's necessary cleanup. Everyone presenting at the event worked really hard to prepare their presentations and interviews, and were rewarded with receiving red seals, blue seals, and gold medals. Participating in 4-H presentations and interviews may seem quite daunting, but anyone can do it who puts their mind to it. Even though presenting a 4-H presentation or interview seems really scary, it is a lot of fun once you are doing it. If you did not participate in this year's Ventura County 4-H Presentation Day Event, I strongly encourage you to participate in next year's event in 2020. In summary, the members got to strengthen their presenting and interviewing skills, and everyone had a wonderful time.