Her contributions to the 4-H youth development profession led her to receive the National Distinguished Service Award.
“Ohio 4-H professionals are incredibly talented and work hard to provide outstanding programs for youth. We are proud their efforts are recognized nationally.” stated Dr. Kirk Bloir, State 4-H Leader and Assistant Director of Ohio State University Extension.
Ryan has been the 4-H Extension Educator in Champaign County for 18 years. She serves on the state-wide Workforce Development Team, Animal Science Team, and is Treasurer of the Ohio Extension Professionals. She has taught at several state and national conferences and chaperoned multiple Ohio youth on national trips.
Champaign County has 66 county 4-H clubs with 1,764 youth participants and 208 volunteers.
Each student paid $5 to attend the event as a way to raise money and awareness for the homeless; $185 and some food supplies were collected. All proceeds were donated to The Caring Kitchen. The event opens up students’ eyes to how cold and uncomfortable being homeless is and students take the time to consider how fortunate they are. Realizing that the homeless have to deal with it every night rather than just one night.
We would like to thank our advisor chaperones, Christy Wilhelm for making chicken noodle soup, Joe Jackson for donating pizza, and all the students who participated. It was a great experience and we look forward to doing it again in the future.
UHS grad started life goals early
“As a part of the Ag program, students are required to have a supervised agricultural experience. Justin chose to get a job as his project and started working at Farmer’s Equipment in Urbana his freshman year,” said FFA Advisor Mallory Zachrich. “He started as a basic helper doing simple tasks like cleaning, taking out trash, sweeping floors. From there he flourished with his passion for equipment and mechanics. Justin observed veteran mechanics, took on small tasks, gained experience and trust and took on more and more responsibilities.”
After graduation, Preece attended the Hobart Institute of Welding on several scholarships and earned his welding certifications in 10 months.
Preece explained the steps to success in a recent interview.
“My SAE (supervised agricultural experience) project is working at Farmers Equipment in Urbana,” Preece told Brownfield Ag News for America. “I started working there as a freshman in high school. Over the years I got more and more tasks. It grew from me cleaning, to me assembling new augers and working on new combines. After graduating, I got a full-time position at Farmers Equipment. Now I am the lead technician for our Kubota line. As it goes on, I have learned more and more.”
Preece said his grandfather’s John Deere 3020 sparked his interest as a young child.
“Being around that atmosphere, I always wanted to stick to it. It is what I grew up around,” he said.
According to Zachrich, Preece was extremely active in the FFA chapter at Urbana. He participated in numerous career development competitions, attended several leadership conferences and conventions, served on planning committees, served as an officer and finished out his senior year as the chapter president.
Preece participated in the calf scramble at the Champaign County Fair and showed his calf in 2019.
During Preece’s senior year, he took on a project of restoring a 1951 Farmall H that was donated to the chapter by a former Urbana Ag teacher.
“His hard work has provided the chapter with a beautiful tractor to use at events like Farm Day to give elementary students hay rides and at the annual homecoming parade,” said Zachrich.
Preece was awarded the Champaign County FFA boy of the year award at the 2021 fair.
By Dani Schipfer - Mechanicsburg FFA Reporter
“We completed a service project with the Pre-K students last spring where we grew Marigolds for each student to have as a gift for Mother’s Day,” said Ali Peterson, the advisor and instructor for the OHP Graham Middle School FFA Chapter.
“State FFA Convention was virtual last spring, so as part of our virtual trip we spent time with the Pre-K students decorating their flower pot to take home. That service project went well, so we wanted to expand this year.”