4-H Court trio look back on year of fun, friendship

<p>The 4-H Court (left to right, Emma Carlsen, Marli Tracy and Ashley Campbell) have fun with Hawaiian garb in last weekend's Chief Joseph Days Junior Parade.</p>

The three young women on 2011-12 4-H Court – Emma Carlsen, Ashley Campbell and Marli Tracy– are preparing for their final official duties during Wallowa County Fair week while looking back on a year of fun, friendship and responsibility.

 The trio found out they would serve on the 4-H court on the final day of the 2011 fair  at the awards program, and will give up the title to their successors on the final 2012 fair day, Saturday, Aug. 11.

 During the year they rode or marched in several parades, adopted the residents of Alpine House in Joseph as their community service project, handed out awards at 4-H Family Appreciation Night and the 4-H Spring Fair, worked at the 4-H Radio Auction and, in general, promoted the 4-H program wherever they could.

All three of the girls will be high school freshmen this fall, Emma at Enterprise High School and the other two at Wallowa High School, and will be active in FFA, as well as 4-H.

For all of them, becoming closer friends and “getting to hang out together” was one of the best parts of being on the court. They also enjoyed visits to the Alpine House, where they did crafts and brought animals to share with the residents.

The trio have many reasons to recommend 4-H to other young people. “I tell them you learn a lot and make so many new friends. You learn a lot of responsibility,” Marli said, with the other two agreeing.

Watch for their fundraising Bessie Bingo during the fair.

Following is a little information on each of the 4-H Court members:

Emma Carlsen, 14,  is the daughter of Blake and Leslie Carlsen of rural Lostine. She is the granddaughter of former county commissioner Les Carlsen, and her grandmother, Nancy, was a long-time member of the fair board.

 She, like her fellow court members, has been involved in 4-H since she was in fourth grade, and is a good student.

She is a member of the Wallowa Trailblazers 4-H horse club and the Golden Arrow Livestock Club. She has been raising a market swine each year for county fair and this year will also show her miniature cow, Chloe, which comes from her father’s herd of Galloway cattle.

“You learn how to judge livestock and tell which animals are the best,” Emma listed among the lessons learned in 4-H, adding that being able to judge stock is a good skill to have “If you want to be a farmer.”

Emma does plan on being a farmer, and adds the possibility of becoming a veterinarian and training horses to future career goals.

While Emma has won a number of fair awards while in 4-H, including champion ribbons in reining and other horsemanship events, the ones she remembers most are two consecutive Hard Luck awards at the 4-H Horse Show, one because her horse died not long before the fair and the other because her horse started bucking with her during practice at the fair.

 Ashley Campbell, 14, is the daughter of Stacey Campbell and John Campbell, both of Wallowa. Her grandmother, Sherrie Matthews, is a former Homemaker of the Fair winner.

Ashley’s 4-H projects include showing a market swine and chickens at the county fair, and recently added rabbits to her 4-H menagerie. Her poultry/rabbit 4-H Club recently changed its name from the Chicks with Buns to the Bouncing Chickens and Crowing Rabbits. “We have 18 members,” Ashley said. “There are a lot more rabbits than there used to be.”

Ashley has won “countless” ribbons with her chickens, plus Best of Show and Best Showman trophies.

Though she doesn’t take part in 4-H horse events, she loves riding horses and has ridden with the court at recent parades at the Fourth of July celebration in Wallowa and Chief Joseph Days in Joseph.

“It’s been a busy year,” Ashley said about her year on the court. “We’ve had some ups and downs, but we’ve all enjoyed hanging out together.” She feels the experience has helped her with public speaking. She will be Greenhand historian in FFA this year.

Marli Tracy, 14, is the daughter of Jill and Clay Mallory and Danny and Carla Tracy of Poulson, Mont. Born in Poulson, she moved to Wallowa County as a second grader.

She is a member of the Wallowa Trail Blazers, the Golden Arrow livestock club, the Mighty Mutts dog club and the Bouncy Chicken and Crowing Rabbits. She will help kick off the fair by competing in the dog show Aug. 4 and will also ride horses, show a market lamb and show a rabbit. For the first time this year she is also showing an Angus heifer in the breeding class.

“It keeps me busy, Marli said of all her projects. Last year she also had production ewes as a project, but has sold them.

Fair awards include an all-around junior horseman award, the Katie Lewis horse award as a first year junior, and a champion ribbon for her market lamb two years ago.

Marli also keeps busy helping her mother at her pizza business. At school this year she will be FFA Greenhand vice president and a member of the new WHS cheerleading squad.

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