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Ohio 4-H Highlights: April 2021
From 4-H to the Olympics: Ohio native part of USA Shooting National Junior Team
A passion that began during the third grade as a member of Ohio 4-H could lead Johnathan Dorsten to the Olympic Games to compete in shooting sports.
The 17-year-old Williams County 4-H member is already part of the USA Shooting National Junior Team and competed internationally for USA Shooting in the 2021 El Salvador Junior Grand Prix in March. His goal is to eventually make it to the USA Shooting National Team to compete in the Olympics as part of the U.S. pistol team.
Dorsten, now in his 11th year as an Ohio 4-H member, first became interested in shooting sports through 4-H archery in 2011. He later transitioned into small bore pistol in 2013, added crossbow in 2018, and shotgun in 2019. He said his experience in 4-H played a large part in his success–both in sports and in life.
“4-H has played multiple roles in my life, with one of the biggest being the foundation and introduction to the sport of air pistols,” Dorsten said. “My mom was in 4-H as a kid and signed me up because she knew it was a great program.”
“The experiences I’ve had through 4-H with shooting sports, camp counselor training, and the friends I’ve made have helped me develop responsibility and leadership skills that’ve helped me develop as a person and helped me do better in sports, including serving as a 4-H club president for three years and as soccer captain on my junior varsity soccer team.”
Dorsten’s notable accomplishments include placing 10th overall and 2nd in slow fire competition at the 2018 4-H Nationals in air pistol; earning 2nd place in juniors at the 2020 Camp Perry Open, Civilian Marksmanship Program North; and earning 1st place in 2019 and 2020 in the Junior Olympic Ohio State Qualifiers. He’s also a member of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation All-Scholastic Team and the National Honor Society.
His father, Damian Dorsten, also credits 4-H with introducing his son to shooting sports and to a network of “great advisors” in the sport.
“To say that I am extremely proud of my son would be an understatement,” Damian Dorsten said. “The shooting process in air pistol is poetry in motion–it takes a steady eye, a great arm, a steady heart rate, and control of your emotions to become great. Without 4-H, we wouldn’t have made all the great connections in the sport that we’ve made.”
After graduating Bryan High School next year, Dorsten said he plans to attend Ohio State and major in agricultural mechanical engineering. He hopes to earn a spot on the Ohio State air pistol team, and eventually make it to the Olympic games.
4-H teens assist Ohio State Student Life organization on National Day of Giving
This year on March 24, National Day of Giving, 4-H teens and volunteers helped distribute boxes of meals at the Scioto County Fairgrounds. There were 100,000 meals delivered to Scioto, Jackson, and Pike counties, donated by The Ohio State University Office of Student Affairs.
Food insecurity in those counties increased 23% during the COVID crisis. To help address this need, the Ohio State Student Life group packed shelf-stable meals to distribute to partnering agencies within the three counties.
“These are packaged meals that don’t have to be cooked—rice, beans, dehydrated vegetables, and seasoning—then they put six meals in a bag to distribute meals to a family,” said Treva Williams, an educator in Ohio State University Extension’s Scioto County office. “We contacted multiple groups throughout the county to see if they would be interested in having some of these to distribute through their food banks or distribution system.”
About 120,000 meals were delivered to the three counties, with Scioto agencies receiving their deliveries at the Scioto County Fairgrounds in Lucasville. The shipment arrived on the very same truck that Ohio State typically uses to transport football equipment to Buckeye games.
“The good thing about this program is that these meals are shelf-stable, so people don’t have to use them right now. A lot of times we get fresh fruits and dairy products, and we have to use them or they spoil. This can be that in-between piece. They’ll have it available to use it whenever works best for their family,” Williams said.
Seventeen partnering agencies in Scioto County received the meal deliveries, including the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center in New Boston, which received nearly 30,000 meals for local school districts to pick up later and distribute to their communities. Other partnering agencies included the Potter’s House, Steven Hunter Hope Fund, Salvation Army, and more.
Williams credited the amazing partnership between Ohio State Student Life, OSU Extension, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Scioto County Fairgrounds, and other community agencies.
4-H partners with Tractor Supply Company
Ohio 4-H is once again teaming up with Tractor Supply Company for the annual Spring Paper Clover campaign. The promotion runs from April 28 to May 9. You can support 4-H by purchasing a paper clover in TSC stores or add a donation at checkout on tractorsupply.com.
All of the funds donated go directly to 4-H, and 90% of the funds come back to Ohio 4-H. Please visit tractorsupply.com/4h to see more details and to read a success story from Ohio 4-H member Soren Hottensmith.
Faces of Ohio 4-H
Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alumnus. Our alumni have amazing stories to share, from their personal experiences in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. Janet Nelson Bates and Barbara Houser Layfield from Trumbull County are lifelong friends who recently reminisced about how 4-H continues through four generations of family, friends, and service.
Janet grew up on a 60-acre farm in Southington, and Barb grew up in Leavittsburg, a town 9 miles distant. If it weren’t for Janet’s aunt, who taught grade school in Leavittsburg, they would not have met until they were old enough to join 4-H.
Barb’s mother won the milking contest through 4-H at the Ashtabula County Fair, and Janet’s father raised and showed pigs as a youth. These activities led to them becoming 4-H advisors. Janet’s father was a 4-H dairy club advisor with the Phalanx Dairy Club, and her mother was a 4-H cooking advisor with the Southington Jolly Cookers. Barb’s mother was a 4-H sewing advisor for the Snow White 4-H Club.
“We had no cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. Our summers were spent in 4-H activities—fairs, camp, and style shows. We looked forward to seeing all our friends each year in 4-H,” remarked Janet.
At age 10, Janet started with her first calf, and Barb began sewing. Janet won a cooking demonstration at the Trumbull County Fair when she was 12 and received a candy thermometer—which she still uses! The two were in many 4-H clubs together, and just like countywide clubs today, the Junior Leadership Club helped them meet 4-H’ers from all over the county.
The Trumbull County Fair was always a busy time for Janet and Barb with dairy projects, and Janet with her horse. Barb said, “We enjoyed 11 years of good fun, fellowship, and learning, so it was a sad day when we turned 21 and had to drop out of 4-H (that was the age limit in 1960). 4-H taught us responsibility, cooperation, leadership, and sewing.”
Their friendship didn’t end after high school. They began their college careers together at Bowling Green State University, and also then their teaching careers. They became 4-H advisors by enlisting several of their students to join by taking sewing projects. A highlight of those early years was the privilege of meeting 4-H founder A.B. Graham.
In the early 1970s and spanning the next nine years, Barb’s three children and Janet’s four children became 4-H members in clubs that focused on sewing, dairy, and horses. Their 4-H projects led their children to a variety of honors: four became camp counselors, one was a State Fashion Revue board member, four received Outstanding of the Day awards for sewing at the Ohio State Fair, and two served as Ohio Guernsey queens.
Their grandchildren were also active in 4-H, and now each one has a great-grandchild waiting to be old enough to begin her 4-H career!
Now there are three granddaughters of Barb and Janet that continued after their nine years in 4-H in sewing, dairy, and saddle clubs: Ashlee and Amber are showing Guernseys on the state and national Levels; Barb’s granddaughter, Grace, as a doctor, is still helping guide our young people; and Janet’s granddaughter, Ashlee, earned her master’s degree at Ohio State and is now the 4-H educator for Trumbull County.
And now there’s a fifth generation—Ashlee’s daughter, Avery Grace. Will she be in 4-H and show chickens and turkeys (like her dad), or cows and horses (like her mom)? Only time will tell!
Janet and Barb shared their advice for today’s 4-H members. “It will be as much fun and learning as you allow it to be,” Janet said. Barb added, “Participate in everything 4-H has to offer.”
Fun facts: What are Janet’s and Barb’s favorite memories from their time in 4-H?
Barb: being a camp counselor, attending Junior Leadership meetings, and going to 4-H Club Congress.
Janet: Loading cows on the train for the state fair, and attending 4-H Club Congress.
Calendar of events
2021 Buckeye Fresh Mini Meat Cutting Workshops (Columbus)—Workshops are Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants select one of the following sessions: April 23 and 24, May 7 and 8, or May 21 and 22. After the workshop, participants will have a better understanding of anatomy, muscle myology, cutting guidelines, food safety, meat quality, the role of processed meat, and government regulated non-meat ingredients (i.e., salt, phosphates, nitrites, etc.), finalized by conducting hands-on cutting tests to understand the impact of yields on profit margins. Anyone 18 and older can attend. Cost to attend is $125. Email Lyda Garcia, PhD, at email@example.com with questions or to register.
Healthy Living Lunch-n-Learn (virtual)—noon to 12:30 p.m. Session dates and topics are April 23, Putting the Zzz’s in Sleep; and April 30, Healthy Living for Fast-Paced Lives. Register for these free sessions at go.osu.edu/area20healthyliving.
April 28 to May 9, Paper Clover Campaign at Tractor Supply Company (TSC) stores—To help support 4-H, purchase a paper clover in-store or add a donation at checkout on tractorsupply.com. Please visit tractorsupply.com/4h for more details.
April 29, The Economics of US Forests as a Natural Climate Solution (webinar)—noon. A joint program between The Ohio State University, North Carolina State, the University of Maine, the University of Idaho, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The two-hour webinar will cover policy context, land-use change, and silvicultural investments if agriculture is a complement or substitute for forest sequestration and how all of this affects communities on a local scale. The webinar will be followed by a panel discussion with experts from industry and academia. For information and registration, visit go.osu.edu/forestlands.
May 1, Coffee with the Master Gardeners (Columbus)—8–10 a.m. Join Franklin County Master Gardeners for a monthly hands-on gardening workshop. For information and registration, visit go.osu.edu/coffeeMGV.
May 5, Ohio 4-H Spring Spotlight (webinar)—7 p.m. The president and board of the Ohio 4-H Foundation invite you to attend the Ohio 4-H 2021 Spring Spotlight. Please join us to hear the impact of Ohio 4-H on Callia Barwick of Mahoning County as she shares her journey through 4-H. Register at go.osu.edu/4hspringspotlight.