Public speaking participants

The 2019 Saline County 4-H Public Speaking participants were, from left: (front row) Valerie Spohn, Lena Gropp and Matilda Koll; and (back row) Jacob Spohn, Coy Maas, Trinity McMillan, Riley Haack, Zach Spohn and Kayde Haack.

The ability to express our thoughts and concerns through speaking is most often listed by 4-H alumni as a skill learned and gained while in 4-H.

Livestock judging, interview judging and public speaking are often the first opportunity for youth to share their thoughts to an adult other than a family member. 4-H helps youth learn and develop valuable life skills. Speaking in front of a group is one of those skills members are able to practice during their 4-H careers.

The 4-H Public Speaking Contest helps youth develop skills for communicating about current issues to real audiences, learn how to organize and prepare a speech, develop speech delivery skills, learn how to present themselves to others and develop self-confidence.

Nine Saline County 4-H members shared their communication skills through original speeches containing some aspect of 4-H or recited stories/poems at the Saline County 4-H Communications Contest, held April 22, at the Nebraska Extension Office in Saline County.

The Novice Division is for first-time speakers. They may recite a poem or a short story. Those participating and earning purple ribbons were Coy Maas, Denton; Valerie Spohn, Friend; and Lena Gropp, Martell. 

In the Junior (8-10 years of age) and Intermediate (11 to 13 years of age) divisions, speakers are required to prepare an original speech relating to some aspect of 4-H.

In the Junior Division, Matilda Koll, Wilber, earned a purple ribbon for her speech titled “It’s Eggciting.” Those awarded blue ribbons were, Kayde Haack, Clatonia, who recited his speech titled “My Favorite 4-H Project,” and Jacob Spohn of Friend, who presented “My 4-H Bucket Calf: Elvis Has Left the Barn.” 

Intermediate division participants included contest winner Riley Haack, Clatonia, who presented his speech about “Halter Breaking.” Earning a purple ribbon was Trinity McMillan, Crete, with her speech titled “The Ups and Downs of Showing Small Animals.” Zach Spohn, Friend, received a blue ribbon for his speech about “4-H: Taking the Roads Less Traveled With My ATV.”

Crystal Fangmeier, Hebron, served as the judge for the contest. Contest awards were sponsored by Kastanek Enterprises of Wilber. 

The junior and intermediate division participants were invited to present at the Regional 4-H Public Speaking contest which was May 16 in Lincoln on UNL’s East Campus. 

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