Ariel Dobbins, a fourth grader at Big Otter Elementary School, earned a Best of Show Designation at the 2018 State of Fair of West Virginia for her first year 4-H Birds project.
Ariel completed her project under the guidance and direction of Mrs. Pat Underwood, third grade teacher and 4-H Leader at Big Otter. For her project Ariel documented birds she saw throughout the year including photos, dates, locations and bird activity. She located, monitored, photographed and described three birds’ nests, including two of which she was able to watch over several days as multiple eggs hatched. She became familiar with state laws concerning game birds and songbirds. And finally, she constructed a birdhouse.
Ariel’s project was on display and earned a first place ribbon at the Clay County Agriculture Youth Fair at Clay County Park in Maysel the last weekend in July. First place projects at county fairs throughout the state earn the right to have their projects displayed at the WV State Fair the second week of August. Ariel’s project was just one of 13 projects selected for Best of Show, out of 3,685 4-H projects submitted by students throughout West Virginia. These included 1,195 exhibits physically on display at the Fair, digital exhibits, posters, photos, writing entries and public speaking presentations. As such, it is quite an honor to be selected for this award. This capped off a great year for Ariel in 4-H, as she was also selected as Most Outstanding First Year Girl Camper at 4-H camp held at Camp Sheppard in Gandeeville, WV in June. Ariel is the daughter of Philip and Stephanie Dobbins of Left Hand, WV.
Congratulations to Matthew Nicholas, a 6th grader at Clay County Middle School, and Silas Kendall, a 5th grader at Hurricane Town Elementary, as well. Each earned a first place ribbon at the County Fair for his “This is 4-H” project and each project was also on display at the State Fair of West Virginia. Finally, a special thank you goes out to Michael Shamblin and Karen Nicholas of the WVU Clay County Extension Service for all their hard work and dedication to our community and local 4-H Programs.