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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


4-H’er takes home the top prize at the Ohio State Fair

Madi Lawson smiling with her clock trophy at the 2023 Ohio State Fair.

Winning a clock trophy at the Ohio State Fair is not an easy feat; it requires months of dedication to the project material, endless hours spent completing project books, and constant trial and error. Madi Lawson, a 4-H member from Huron County, knows this better than most.

In the 13 years Lawson has been in 4-H, she has taken more than 40 projects and was selected to compete at the Ohio State Fair numerous times. But until this year, she was never selected as the winner of one of the coveted clock trophies. “Over Lawson at National 4-H Conference, a leadership trip available for teen 4-H’ers to participate in.the years, I’ve completed woodworking, cooking, sewing, mental health, diversity, and livestock projects, but the clock trophy was always just out of reach. This year that finally changed!”

As the final project of her 4-H career, Lawson selected Teens on Board, a leadership project that helps teens learn more about running effective meetings and participating on boards. “I had never taken this project but was inspired to complete it after being selected to serve as a teen representative on the Ohio 4-H Foundation board.”

Her experiences as a member of the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council also prompted her interest in leadership projects. “This was my first year in a leadership role,” said Lawson, who served as the state outreach committee chair Lawson at a welcome event for new CFAES students.for 2022–23. “It was an important experience for me, and the Teen Leadership Council advisors have been great mentors. They helped me come out of my shell and gave me the confidence to be a leader among my peers.”

“Winning the clock trophy meant everything,” continued Lawson. “It has been a long-time goal. This is something I have been striving for ever since year one, and it feels great to accomplish this in my final year as a 4-H’er.”

This fall, Lawson began her first year at The Ohio State University, where she is studying community leadership in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in Extension or work in a leadership role at a nonprofit.

Thanks to all our sponsors for making recognition of these outstanding youth possible. A full list of the 2023 clock trophy sponsors can be found on the Ohio 4-H Foundation’s website.