New Castle News

August 20, 2012

Honors presented as fair ends

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Every year, at least two youths stand out from the crowd at the Lawrence County Fair.

That is especially true when it comes to dedication and involvement in 4-H and livestock.

This year, Jocelyn Kelly of Wampum and Jenny Ratvasky of Volant were considered as among those by their peers and 4-H and FFA leaders.

Kelly received the Junior Livestock Award, given by the Junior Livestock Association for her work in 4-H and for being a role model for other youngsters in the program.

Ratvasky received the Joe Schick Award, given in remembrance of the late Lawrence County agriculture extension agent.

Both awards were presented Saturday at the annual Junior Livestock Sale.

Ed Nichol, a beef breeder and owner of Maple Lane Farm near Enon Valley, was recognized for his many years as president of the Junior Livestock Association and as a 4-H beef leader for more than 30 years.

Kelly has shown champion breeding stock animals at the fair for years and competed at other 4-H shows and expos.

She exhibited the champion keyhole pony for three years at state 4-H horse shows.

Kelly gives back to her community as a volunteer firefighter. A licensed massage therapist, she hopes to pursue a career in equine massage and animal chiropractic.

She has held various offices and positions in 4-H and participated in camp counselor training, state days, conferences and 4-H camps. She was selected as the outstanding 4-H member.

This is Kelly’s last year in showing in 4-H.

Baby Beef Club leaders credit her for being “willing to help anyone who asks. Kids will come up to her at the fair and ask for help. She always drops what she is doing to go and help them. She really enjoys working with the young people.”

Kelly has helped with the Lawrence County 4-H fund-raising auction for several years and has been on the development committee as a junior member.

Ratvasky was an active member of 4-H before joining the Wilmington FFA. She was chapter president and chaired its parliamentary procedure team and helped take the team to regional competition this year.

Ratvasky has been involved with the Ag Encounter program for four years, helping to present the dairy program to county fourth-graders.

She earned her Keystone Degree in January and the Western Region Star in production because of her exemplary supervised agricultural experience project books.

A graduate of Wilmington High, she received the DeKalb award in school this year, given to the top senior in each class.

She also has earned multiple record book awards at the state level.

Ratvasky raises and shows dairy and market goats and steers and was active on the square dance team, banquet committee, volleyball committee and teach ag day.

She assisted with the pancake dinners in Volant and taught students about agriculture in the evening program. She helps with the school district’s Colonial Days.

Ratvasky plans to attend Pitt in Titusville for a career in the health field with children.

Joanna McKelvey, her FFA adviser who nominated her for the award, commented, “I feel that Jenny possesses many of the qualities that Joe Schick would look for in a young member.”

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)