Headfirst into Achievement Days
The 2018 Jones and Mellette 4-H Achievement Days kicked off on Monday, June 25. 4-H members for both Jones and Mellette counties brought their 4-H projects ranging from wildlife and fisheries displays to community service and foods and nutrition to visual arts for evaluation by the judges. Achievement Days is the culmination of hard work that has been put in throughout the 4-H year. 4-H members work diligently to learn more about their project area and create high quality displays that highlight their knowledge. Each year, 4-Hers wow with new creative and innovative 4-H projects that wow our judges and our volunteers.
In addition to display exhibits, 4-H members participated in a wildlife and fisheries knowledge skillathon. Every year, the Jones County 4-H Parent Leader Association challenges our 4-H youth to explore one featured project. For 2018, that project is wildlife and fisheries. The skillathon challenged 4-H’ers to identify pictures of wildlife, match various animals with their tracks and skulls as well as determine types of fishing poles and lures. Overall, the 4-H’ers rose to the challenge and were very successful.
New for 2018, we feasted on a catered meal provided by the Covered Wagon. Judges, volunteers and 4-H families appreciated the ability to have a delicious meal and one fewer thing to worry about on a very busy day.
On Tuesday, June 26 our 4-H’ers were treated to a day full of educational fun and workshops. We began our day with a Youth in Action event, the lawn mower and wagon driving. Youth In Action events challenge our 4-H’ers actively work toward accomplishing a goal. During the lawn mower and wagon driving, 4-H members are timed as they navigate a cone course ensuring not to hit the markers. The best combination being clean and error free on the course and time earns the top purple. This year we had 6 junior 4-H members, five beginners and four cloverbuds test their skills on our course. A huge thank you to the City of Murdo for allowing us to borrow your cones and the use of the rodeo arena, Dee and Travis Hendricks for providing the garden wagon, Nick Van Dam for use of his lawn mower, and Jeff and LeAnn Birkeland for use of the lawn mower trailer. After running off our energy, we moved out to the North Dam for the fishing derby. Youth had two hours to test their fishing skills during the catch and release event. Fishing proved to be challenging for some of our 4-H’ers while others found success. The big winners were Adrik Schoon, Easton Newsam, and Jesse Schoon. Thank you to Spencer Downey and SD Game Fish and Parks for use of the fishing poles that allowed everyone to have a great time.
Our day continued after a picnic lunch with the SD Game Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus- West teaching a lesson on Dutch oven cooking and canoeing. 4-H’ers learned that poaching animals while not only illegal will cause your big “score” to be confiscated. The meat utilized for the fajitas that were made was from an illegally hunted mountain lion. Not only was it a new experience sampling mountain lion, but we also gained knowledge and skills in cooking over a camp fire. While the meal of mountain lion fajitas and cobblers was cooking, 4-H’ers took turns learning how to canoe and spending time out on the lake. In case you wondering- the meal was delicious! The final activity at the North Dam was an orienteering workshop. 4-H members learned how to utilize the compass app on phones to navigate the course to find a special prize. Thank you to the Murdo Golf Course for use restrooms, Outdoor Campus West for traveling to provide the workshops, and the Jones County 4-H Parent Leaders for providing an ice cream treat at the Murdo Drive-In at the end of the orienteering workshop.
The final event of the first half of the Jones Mellette 4-H Achievement Days was the open house. It was nice to open the doors to the community for them to see the hard work, quality exhibits and watch a slide show featuring photos from throughout the 4-H year. Thank you to all those who attended.
We would invite everyone to participate in the second half of our Achievement Days. August 1 will be the small animal show, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Jones County Sportsman’s Club and the large animal show, 4 p.m., at the rodeo arena. Come support our 4-H members as they show their animals. On August 7, we again are excited to partner with the Murdo Lions Club to have the Community BBQ and 4-H Awards program. We invite you for a delicious dinner, drawing of the MidwayUSA trust raffle and to see which 4-H members walk away with the awards. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. - see you there!