Tanya Giroir, Morgan, Johnny W. | 12/2/2006 4:24:45 AM
Exceptional service projects were key to 13 Louisiana 4-H members receiving Good Provider awards recently at LSU’s Lod Cook Conference Center.
Service is at the heart of the Good Provider Program, according to officials with the LSU AgCenter, who say more than a thousand hours of service were given by these 4-H members. Their work included service to the young, the elderly and the less fortunate as well as service to those in need of homes, of food, of an education and of simply knowing that someone else cares.
Through their service projects, these 4-H members learned the benefits of their gift of time and energy and that one person can make a difference in their community, Ag Center officials point out.
The group of students who won Good Provider awards this year spent two days in South Louisiana to honor them and provide them with some fun. The trip included having their picture taken on the 50-yard line of Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, taking a tour of New Orleans to see hurricane recovery progress, visiting the refurbished Superdome and the New Orleans Arena and receiving their awards Nov. 21 on the LSU campus.
The 60-plus-year-old Good Provider program dates to part of the war effort of Word War II. It was then that young people planted "Victory Gardens" to provide food for their families and others during the war.
In more recent years, Louisiana winners from across the state would spend three days touring New Orleans and participate in an awards banquet at the Stadium Club at the Louisiana Superdome. The events were moved to Baton Rouge last year after the hurricanes devastated New Orleans.
Tanya Walker of the LSU AgCenter 4-H Youth Development Department, who was the organizer of this year’s Good Provider educational trip, said there have also been other changes to the program since hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year.
"Before the storms, the New Orleans AgriBusiness Council’s Good Provider committee members would travel the state to interview the 4-H’ers in their homes, and then the 4-H’ers would come to New Orleans for tours of the city and to have the awards banquet in the Superdome," Walker said, explaining committee members picked first-, second- and third-place winners as a result of the interviews. "But since the storms, we have named up to three winners from each of the five areas of the state, who all share the title of Good Provider and are given an equivalent award."
This year the winners actually stayed in Baton Rouge and spent only one day touring New Orleans. In addition, the awards banquet was held at the Lod Cook Conference Center on the LSU campus instead of the Superdome.
The Good Provider winners this year were Alee Broussard of St. Mary Parish; Kristy Craig, Union; Leah Dale, Caldwell; Taylor Granger, Jeff Davis; Kristen Hippler, Sabine; Austin Mouton, Vermilion; Ruth Ouzts, Bienville; Katherine Rashall, Caddo; Jerry Stewart, Livingston; Alex Thomas, Concordia; Emily Trahan, Vermillion; Lilly Trahan, Iberia; and Lynzi Vaughn, Iberville.
In addition to the Good Provider winners, 10 winners in other 4-H contests also were recognized at the luncheon. Megan Albert, Jasmine Derouselle and Cassie Gillespie all of St. Martin Parish, were recognized for winning the Consumer Foods contest at 4-H University in June.
Other winners included Sara Brakeville of Bossier Parish, who was recognized for her work on animal science projects; Carlyn Holsted of Lafayette, rabbits; Seth Richard, Vermilion, communications, public speaking and demonstrations; Jessica Taylor of Caddo, family life; and Anna Whittington, Bossier, community study and service.
Adults recognized for their service as 4-H volunteer leaders were Michelle Mitchell of Vernon Parish and Leah Webb from Caddo Parish.
The contests and the trip to Baton Rouge and New Orleans were sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, LSU Lod Cook Hotel and Conference Center, LSU Rural Life Museum, LSU AgCenter Burden Research Center, Dixie Electric Membership Corp., New Orleans Superdome and New Orleans Arena, Entergy, Cafe Reconcile, New Orleans AgriBusiness Council, LSU School of Music and the LSU Golden Band from Tiger Land, LSU Athletic Department, the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H State Office and the Louisiana 4-H agents.
For additional information about the state 4-H program, contact your parish LSU AgCenter office or visit www.lsuagcenter.com.