At the 2007 Vermont State Fair all 4-H Club participants were winners. All completed their project work and filled out project books. Depending on the type of projects, many students filled other requirements, including taking part in a number of countywide activities. The top winner for 2007 was Erik Chapin from the Westside Wanderers 4-H club of West Rutland. He was recipient of the McKirryher Family Watch Award as the young man who received the highest number of award points at this year's annual display.
Under the category of horticulture, Chapin brought in the heaviest field pumpkin to win the Chippenhook Veggie Stand award, and also won the Otter Valley Supply and Garden Award for the outstanding senior garden exhibitor. Chapin also received top ranking for his home garden exhibit given by the Rutland Chapter of UVM Master Gardeners.
Other awards Chapin received included Cattle: Best of Breed for his milking shorthorn; both the Dried Food Award and the Best Soft Spread Award in the food preservation and safety category, and a Most Improved Award in the public presentations division.
Heather Ponto from the Crafty Critters 4-H Club of West Rutland received the Officers and Trustees Award as Chapin's female counterpart this year.
Ponto received third place in the home garden exhibit category, a second place in dried arrangements, the Heleba Award for highest number of points in woodworking and handicrafts, and Exhibitor Award: Conservation, Nature and Creative Crafts.
In the photography category, Ponto received two firsts, for her sequence of three photos telling a story and for her computer enhanced photo. She also received the Collett Family Baking Award for her decorated cake entry, and took home four firsts in the dog competition. Her decorated cake won her the Ann Story Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution award for the best patriotic-themed entry.
Ponto received the Special Homemakers Award sponsored by the Rutland County Family and Community Education Council for having the highest total score in the vegetable, flower, food preservation and safety, foods and nutrition, and sewing and handiwork categories.
To win either of these awards, 4-H exhibitors must have completed a project record book and participate in a minimum of four departments. They must also deliver a demonstration or illustrated talk and be a member of the 4-H Teen Task Force. The awards reverse position in alternate years; the McKirryher Watch award will go to the young woman with the highest number of points in 2008.
Other firsts in Horticulture went to Elizabeth Bushey from the Wind Riders 4-H Club of Rutland, Kathryn Tadio, an independent 4-Her; Makayla Stone from the Blazing Saddles 4-H club of Danby; Leslie Bardin from the Rough Riders 4-H club of Castleton; and Courtney Marsh from the Crafty Critters.
Top awards for their participation, knowledge, and showmanship in the dairy department went to Sarah Daley, Andrea Chambers, and Megan Taylor from the Hill and Valley 4-H Club of Rutland; Morgan Hosley and Savannah Lewis of the Rupert Mettowee Valley 4-H Club of West Pawlet; and Chris Chapin of the Westside Wanderers. The West Pawlet 4-H Club also won the Dairy Barn award. Breed winners were Savannah Lewis, Holstein; Brittany Chapin of the Westside Wanderers, Guernsey; Molly Turgeon of Hill and Valley, Jersey; and Christopher Chapin, Guernsey.
Kathryn Tadio received the Casella Award for her use of recycled material in a creative craft project.
Additional winners in the Photography department were Molly Marcy from the Castleton Clever Clovers 4-H Club of Castleton; Holly Cloutier from the Rough Riders 4-H Club; Jake Ambrozaitis from the Falkenbury Farm 4-H Club of Benson; and David Gringeri from the Horsepower 4-H Club of Castleton.
The Chapin family of West Rutland has some good eating in store this winter. In addition to Erik's award in the food preservation division, the other awards went home with his siblings, Brittany and Christopher.
Elizabeth Bushey from the Wind Riders club, David Gringeri, and Maddie Slack from the Silver Stirrups 4-H Club of Ira all won awards for their Foods and Nutrition entries. In the Sewing and Handicrafts division, Raven Collett and Sarah Hillier from the Benson Busy Buddies of Benson, Lindsy Danforth from the Horsepower club, and Lindsey Roush from the Wonderful Woolies 4-H Club of Wallingford all took home first place awards.
Firsts in the Horse project division went to Logan Boyle and Amberly Ondria from the Rough Riders of Castleton, Jaylynn White from the Blazing Saddles club, and Mikayla Stone.
In the Rabbit department, Tyler Duczeminski won seven first places, with additional first place awards (three of them) went to Brandon Valente. Both are members of the Bunny Hoppers 4-H Club of Clarendon.
Lindsy Danforth, Molly Marcy from the Castleton Clever Clovers, Sarah Hillier, and the team of Brigid and Cathy Brown from the Wonderful Woolies 4-H Club all received first place ranking for the Public Presentations. First place winners in the Sheep department were Jenny Davenport, Amber Corliss, Megan Watrous, Reilly Dugan, Emma Reichert, Marley Zollman, Lindsey Roush, Haley Corliss, and Reilly Duggan. All are members of the Wonderful Woolies club.
Courtney Marsh and Alex Patch each received first place for their efforts in the Dogs division. They are both members of the Crafty Critters 4-H Club. The top award for a Club Educational Exhibit was awarded to the display created by the Castleton Clever Clovers 4-H Club.
Two others who received special recognition were Sarah Hillier and Lindsey Roush, receiving the Ruth Kirchner Memorial Award and the Reverend Olaf Johnson Memorial Award, respectively, in recognition of their contribution to 4-H activities during the fair.