Merz, Vannus named Outstanding Male, Female 4-Hers


By Sheryl Roadcap

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TROY — Those who have been excellent over the course of their time as 4-H members were honored on the first day of the Miami County Fair on Friday, Aug. 11, during the 2023 Outstanding 4-Her award ceremony in the grandstands.

Nineteen Miami County 4-H members were among those considered to be named the 2023 Female and Male Outstanding 4-Her.

Kaden Merz, 18, son of Jessica and Nathan Merz, of Bethel, was named the 2023 Male Outstanding 4-Her of the Year, and Arianna Vannus, 18, daughter of Harry and Mary Vannus, of Pleasant Hill, was named the Female 2023 Outstanding 4-Her of the Year. Vannus and Merz were also both crowned as the 2023 Fair Queen and King, honors they both were shocked to receive.

Vannus is a member of the Elizabeth Livestock 4-H Club. Merz is a member of the Farrow to Finish 4-H Club.

Jessica Adams, 4-H educator with the Miami County OSU Extension Office, praised all of the award winners during the ceremony, that took place immediately after the crowning of the Miami County Fair Court, saying they should all be proud of themselves for all the hard work they have put in during their time as 4-H members.

“All of our nominees are here today because they have been named outstanding, ” said Adams. “Outstanding by a 4-H member or community member. They have embodied what it means to use your head, heart, hands and health (the four Hs in 4‑H) to better serve their community and their club. They are national leaders and they show commitment in their category. They should feel honored to be nominated for this award. You each should be proud to be recognized today for the hard work you have put in in your 4-H career.”

The following 4-Hers Award winners were considered for the 2023 Male and Female Miami County Outstanding 4-Her: Cammy Shook, 4-H Achievement Award; Kaden Merz, 4-H Animal Husbandry Award; Luke Fulton, 4-H Beef Award; Hannah Robinson, 4-H Cake Decorating Award; Arianna Vannus, 4-H Citizenship Award; Garrett Fine, 4-H Community Service Award; Megan Robinson, 4-H Food Science Award; Grace Croskey, 4-H Goats Award; Mackenzie Andrews, 4-H Horse Award; Cora Moore, 4-H Lamp of Knowledge Award; Kara Stephan, 4-H Leadership Award; Dylan Arnold, 4-H Mentorship Award; Jayden Skeebey, 4-H Outdoor Education and Recreation; Colin Burghardt, 4-H Personal Development Award; Elisabeth Norman, 4-H Poultry Award; Kinsley Cartwright, 4-H Sheep Award; Colton Moore, 4-H Shooting Sports Award; Chet Snyder, 4-11 STEM Award; Maryn Gross, 4-H Swine Award.

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