71st Annual Tennessee 4-H Congress

///71st Annual Tennessee 4-H Congress

In late March, delegates around the state will convene for the 71st Annual Tennessee 4-H Congress. This year’s Congress will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee from March 18 until the 21.

Each year, one of the highlights of the Congress is the election of officers. Delegates use voting machines to select their own State 4-H Congress Governor, Speaker of the Senate and Speaker of the House. Installation of the new officers occurs at the final banquet.

This year’s presiding congressional officers are John Ryan Scarlett (Jefferson Co.), Sorrell Martin (Lincoln Co.) and Joshua Wade (Bedford Co.). Each officer was selected by his or her peers during the 2017 Congress.

For some officers, like Sorrell Martin who serves as Governor, the decision to participate in 4-H Congress was easy.

“I wanted to be a part of a state leadership team and help decide on a service project for one of 4-H’s largest events,” explained Martin.

But for others, like John Ryan Scarlett who is Speaker of the Senate, the decision wasn’t quite as black and white.

“I had never heard of 4-H Congress until my agent urged me to go,” said Scarlett. “As I went through the preparation day for Congress, I met the then Congress Governor, Hannah Reeves. Hearing about her experiences and duties, as well as learning and seeing just what all went on at 4-H Congress, made me want to become a part of something bigger than just my local 4-H Club.”

Joshua Wade is serving as this year’s Speaker of the House.

To be eligible for a position, all candidates must be approved by the state 4-H office for membership in the Tennessee 4-H Honor Club and be enrolled in the 9th or 10th grade on January 1 of the current year.

Tennessee Congress delegates play an important role at the state and national levels, and help to represent Tennessee 4-H as a whole.

To learn more about the election of Tennessee 4-H Congress Officers, please visit. For more information about the 2018 Tennessee 4-H Congress Governor and Speaker of the Senate, along with a Q&A, continue reading here.

2018-4-H-Congress-Officers

John Ryan Scarlett, Sorrell Martin and Joshua Wade

Sorrell Martin

4-H Congress Governor
Lincoln County

Q: Where do you go to school and what grade are you in?

A: I attend Cornersville High School and I’m in the 10th grade.

Q:  How did you first get involved with 4-H?

A: Both of my parents were 4-H members and I have two older sisters who were both in 4-H before me. I’ve grown up with them preparing for speech competitions, demonstration contests and livestock shows. So when I became a fourth grader, I could not wait to begin my 4-H career and do all of those things also.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your family and what sorts of hobbies you have outside of 4-H.

A: I live on a 600-acre family farm in Petersburg. We raise and show Hereford cattle. I also raise three rabbits and show them at a few county fairs throughout the fall. I have been taking lessons for eight years, which is one of my favorite things to do. This past year was my second year to be on my high school’s cross-country team. This is something that I have really enjoyed and I look forward to racing every year.

Q:  Why did you want to be part of the 4-H Congress officers?

A: I wanted to be a part of the 4-H Congress officers because I wanted to be a part of a state leadership team and help decide on a service project for one of 4-H’s largest events. I also longed for the amazing opportunity to meet with people all across the state.

Q:  What types of 4-H Projects do you participate in? Have you won any awards doing it?

A: My main 4-H project is Communications. This is something I am very passionate about. I have participated in the speech competition every year and have always tried my hardest. This past year at 4-H Congress, I won the State Public Speaking contest. I was so excited! I had dreamed of that moment since I gave my very first 4-H speech in the fourth grade. I’m also involved in the Beef Project where I show my Hereford cattle. This past summer, I was chosen to be Reserve Grand Champion at the state show. I raised the heifer and had bought her mother two years before with my Heifer Scholarship money. I was very proud of what my heifer had become.

Q: If you had one piece of advice for a younger 4-H’er – what would it be?

A: If I had one piece of advice for a younger 4-Her, it would be to stay in 4-H as long as possible. I know 4-H has truly changed my life for the better and the organization has given me so many amazing opportunities I could only dream of. I would also tell them to always try their hardest in everything they attempt, because no matter what, there is always a way to make the best better.

Q: What is your favorite part of 4-H Club?

A: My favorite part of the 4-H club would have to be everything we learn. In any project you choose, there is always something to learn – whether it’s pulling a calf for the first time in your Beef Project or learning how to compose a speech in your Communications Project. Sometimes things may not go as you planned or hoped that they would, but that’s what is so great about 4-H, you’re always learning by doing.

John Ryan Scarlett

4-H Congress Speaker of the Senate
Jefferson County

Q: Where do you go to school and what grade are you in?

A: I am currently a junior at Jefferson County High School in Dandridge, TN.

Q:  How did you first get involved with 4-H?

A: I first became involved in 4-H by showing dairy cattle at my county fair. When I turned 9 I was able to show ‘bigger’ cattle whereas before I had only been able to show calves and because the 4-H had been so involved in the county fair, I thought it only the natural option to join up.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your family and what sorts of hobbies you have outside of 4-H.

A: I live on a 1,200 acre diversified row-crop and dairy operation with my parents, John Neal and Deborah Scarlett, as well as my younger sister, Jackie, and uncle, Robert Scarlett. My dad and uncle both run the farm and my mother is a vice principal at a high school. My sister is infatuated with anything that has to do with horses and I myself enjoy working on the farm and participating in school clubs or teams. I play for the Jefferson County football team and am also in the school beta club.

Q: Why did you want to be part of the 4-H Congress officers?

A: I had never heard of 4-H Congress till my agent urged me to go. As I went through the preparation day for Congress I met the then current Congress Governor, Hannah Reeves. Hearing about her experiences and duties as well as learning and seeing just what all went on at 4-H Congress made me want to become apart of something bigger than just my local 4-H Club. So I announced my candidacy at the conclusion of preparation day and then at Congress I campaigned and had an enormous amount of fun just meeting new people and learning where they’re from and what projects they were involved in. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend running for office to any 4-H’er who wants not only to make an impact in their community but also in their state.

Q: What types of 4-H Projects do you participate in? Have you won any awards doing it?

A: I participate in the dairy project. In this project I am responsible for caring for the animals as well as working to help them produce at the highest level possible for my herd. This project includes not only just feeding and milking the animals but also seeing what the animals should be fed as well as researching for more effective and productive ways to increase their output and consulting other more experienced dairymen such as my father and uncle. Through participating in this project I have gained valuable experience and skills that will not only help me in the dairy parlor but also wherever life may take me. Recently I went to 4-H Roundup where I competed in the Level One Dairy Project and had my hard work pay off when I won the Level One Dairy Project. Now it’s on to Level Two.

Q: If you had one piece of advice for a younger 4-H’er – what would it be?

A: My advice for a younger 4-H’er, or any 4-H’er for that matter, is that you should take every opportunity that you have to participate in or learn about something new no matter what. You never know when going to a workshop for table etiquette will pay off.

Q: What is your favorite part of 4-H Club?

A: My favorite part about 4-H Club would have to be that no matter where you’re from or what you’re involved in, there is a place for you in 4-H where you can grow and thrive beyond your wildest dreams. 4-H gives people who would never have crossed paths in the outside world a way to come together and have something in common. It gives people with complete opposite personalities the ability to share experiences together and become lifelong friends where otherwise they would have never known each others names. And, finally, 4-H gives people opportunities to express their own ideas and feelings with their friends and peers and facilitate that growth so that the ideas and feelings brought forward by 4-H’ers may come to fruition.

2018-04-30T12:04:03+00:00