Lititz teen elected 4-H state president

By on October 8, 2014
Karoline Kent

Karoline Kent

Karoline Kent joined her local 4-H chapter at 13 in hopes of connecting with kids in her community. Her enthusiasm to participate so many years ago led the teen to climb the 4-H ladder to be elected state council president this summer.

The Lititz-native will spend this year’s National 4-H Week, Oct. 4 to 11, spreading the word about all the organization provides.

Karoline first got involved in the Horse Happy Club, and even though she was unable to compete because her horse was boarded in Delaware, she dove into statewide events and volunteering.

“I was so excited for the opportunity, for the chance to be part of the leadership of 4-H,” said Karoline, now 17 and a senior at Warwick High School.

She first heard about leadership opportunities with 4-H after she started showing in Lancaster County competitions about two years ago. Her involvement helped her grow closer to council members, who encouraged the hard working teenager to apply.

Her written application included three references, an interview in front of a panel of judges, a speech during State Days and a presentation on her 4-H career.

She applied to be a council member along with 14 other teenagers, 10 of whom received positions, she said. Karoline was elected president after winning the peer ballot.

Since then, she’s been busy visiting different parts of the state, participating in award ceremonies and giving speeches to spread the news about the good things 4-H offers.

She’s been to Ag Progress days in State College, the All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg and more recently, the Keystone Classic State Barbecue Competition in Harrisburg.

She also speaks on radio programs and does interviews to promote all things 4-H.

“My calendar will be full for a very long time,” she said. “It’s about representing the program and getting the word out there.”

Karoline is used to the busy schedule. She’s been a Girl Scout for many years, is a member of a local rifle team, works in Warwick’s Envirothon program and is president of her Future Farmers of America chapter.

“Time management has never been a difficult thing for me,” she said. “Adding one more thing wasn’t a big deal.”

As a senior, she is looking to take the things she’s learned through 4-H and carry them into her future. She hopes to attend Penn State University to major in animal sciences, with a possible minor in agri-business or equine studies.

“4-H has provided me with so many different opportunities,” she said. “With those you have different experiences, meet different people and work in different environments. I never would have looked at an education in agriculture before, but I enjoy working with youth.”

Karoline is trying to spread the news that 4-H isn’t just about farming. There are many programs that involve engineering and rocketry, as well as other modern clubs for people to explore.

“We have traditional agriculture roots, but that’s not the only thing we support,” she said.

In the next few months of her presidency, she will participate in the January leadership conference, where she’ll have the chance to meet participants from across the country. She’ll also take part in the national horse judging competition Nov. 7 through 9 in Louisville, Ky.

She qualified for the national competition after her team of four placed first while judging the state competitions. The teams judge riders and horses, then their critiques are compared to those of certified judges. The most accurate teams win, she said.

Judging has forced Karoline to learn a lot of terminology, helping her understand the parts of the horse and different classes within Western and English styles of riding, she said. It also helps her as a competitor, she said, to know those things better.

Despite spending a good part of the year traveling the state, Karoline still enjoys participating in local 4-H activities.

“You create a lot of relationships with people in your local 4-H club,” she said. “Those are people I like spending the most time with. I’m happy every time I can do something with them.”

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