Outstanding Youngsters Volunteers Honored For Work In Livestock Projects

Terril D. Faul, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  2/18/2006 4:49:40 AM

News Release Distributed 02/18/06

BATON ROUGE – The LSU AgCenter honored a group of outstanding volunteer leaders and 4-H and FFA members Saturday (Feb. 18) for their work with youth livestock projects.

The awards to two volunteers and six club members were presented during ceremonies that concluded the 71st Annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. That annual event ran Feb. 11-18.

Sponsored by the Louisiana 4-H Foundation and Louisiana FFA, the awards recognized young people and adults for outstanding contributions to or work in youth livestock programs. The awards were based on evaluation of each person's record book or a detailed application concerning his or her involvement with youth livestock projects.

The 4-H program is the youth development arm of the nationwide land-grant university system. It is operated in Louisiana by the LSU AgCenter and includes projects for youth on topics ranging from raising livestock to computer science, family life, environmental science and much more.

"Volunteer leaders help us reach even more young people with our projects and programs, so we’re pleased to be able to honor a few of them with these awards," said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. "We’re also happy to be able to recognize these outstanding young people who are excelling in their 4-H and FFA projects."

Among the honors presented Saturday were the Attorney General’s Awards, which recognize two volunteer 4-H leaders who have assisted youngsters with livestock projects. Those awards went to Lynne Guillotte of New Iberia and Daniel Klein of St. Francisville.

Guillotte has been a volunteer leader in the Iberia Parish 4-H livestock program for nine years and has served as president of the Iberia Parish Livestock Advisory Committee for the past two years. He also has organized numerous study sessions for 4-H members participating in the Premier Exhibitor program and every year he recruits buyers of 4-H market animals from the area. Even more, this year he assisted 4-H members who donated money raised from their market animals to help hurricane victims.

Klein has served as a 4-H livestock leader in East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes for five years. He has assisted livestock members in the selection and purchase of market hogs, provided guidance concerning feeding and healthcare and recruited new livestock project members. He also recruits businesses to donate services and money for the annual mini farm and seeks buyers for the junior livestock sale in the area.

As for awards to youngsters, Superintendent of Education Awards went to three students, 13 or younger, who have excelled in livestock projects. Those winners were Ellen Bairnsfather of Monterey, Joey Bell of Ebarb and Alee Broussard of Franklin.

Bairnsfather is a third-year 4-H member from Concordia Parish. The daughter of Joe and Debbie Bairnsfather, her livestock projects have included beef breeding and goats. She has participated in showmanship clinics teaching other youth how to show a goat and has participated in such livestock events as the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, the Ag Expo 4-H Mini Farm, the Northeast District livestock show and state livestock show. In addition to livestock projects, Bairnsfather has served as her 4-H club president for the past two years and has been involved in a variety of community service activities.

Bell, a ninth-grader at Ebarb High School, is in his third year as an FFA member and is the son of Benny and Marian Bell. He has been active in the beef project and has exhibited animals at parish, Louisiana State Fair and Southern University livestock shows. His accomplishments with beef include having the champion Maine-Anjou at both the fall and spring livestock shows in Sabine Parish last year, and he also exhibits quality swine and broilers at various shows around the state. In addition, Bell has participated in a variety of community service projects, career development events and other leadership activities through FFA, and he serves as an area FFA officer.

Broussard, a fifth-year 4-H member from St. Mary Parish, is the daughter of Alton and Faith Broussard. She participates in the swine project and has exhibited four breeding swine and seven market hogs over the past three years. She also has conducted demonstrations during swine clinics, toured swine farms and participated in swine records, showmanship and premier exhibitor competitions. Among her other activities, Broussard appeared on a local TV show to promote her parish’s livestock show, she organized a relief effort for hurricane victims, and she serves as a member of the St. Mary Parish 4-H Fashion Board and reporter for her local 4-H Club.

The final awards presented to 4-H and FFA members were the Governor’s Awards, which recognize two older 4-H members and one FFA member who have excelled in the livestock program. Those awards went to Andrew "Drew" Coombs of Boyce, Gabrielle Guidry of Breaux Bridge and Brittany Lester of Covington.

Coombs is an 18-year-old 4-H member from Rapides Parish and the son of Danny and Terrie Coombs. He has been involved in the 4-H livestock program for nine years – exhibiting beef and swine – and has participated in a variety of livestock events, including winning a trip to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville with his beef project. Coombs has been featured on TV and radio stations concerning his livestock projects and has conducted a variety of workshops and seminars for other livestock project participants. In addition, he has served as president of his local 4-H Club and the parish’s Junior Leader Club and is active in community projects such as collecting canned goods for needy families and organizing such efforts as a school-wide drive for clothes and supplies for hurricane victims.

Guidry, 15, has been a 4-H member for seven years and is the daughter of Kevin and Hope Guidry. She has exhibited 20 market hogs and one gilt over the past three years and has participated in 45 livestock shows and won a variety of awards. She also won an educational trip to NAILE in Louisville last year, placed in the top 10 in the state Swine Premier Exhibitor Contest and won the swine records contest and a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. A previous winner of the Superintendent’s Award in 2002, Gabrielle loves volunteering and says being a 4-H member has taught her the character traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Lester, a member of Covington High School FFA, is the daughter of Cindy and Ricky Lester of Covington. She began exhibiting Polled Hereford cattle at the age of nine and previously exhibited market swine. She says her main enjoyment in exhibiting cattle is that it allows her to be in a family atmosphere where everyone helps each other. She personally owns 41 Polled Herefords and is heavily involved in exhibiting livestock at parish, district and state shows. She also is an active member of the Louisiana Junior Polled Hereford Association, Louisiana Junior Hereford Association and the Louisiana Junior Cattlemen’s Association. In addition, she is a member of the St. Benedict’s Catholic Youth Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Covington High Interact Club and the North Shore Academy of Dance.

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Contact: Terril Faul at (225) 578-2196 or tfaul@agcenter.lsu.edu 

Writer: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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