Every summer, around the end of July, the Tennessee 4-H State Program hosts its annual TN 4-H State All Star Round-Up where some of the best and brightest high school 4-H members get together for a week at either UT Knoxville or UT Martin.

This event is one that is deeply rooted in 4-H traditions where 4-H members from across our great state are able to get together to compete in competitions related to their projects, attend various workshops, complete service projects, and elect the officers that they believe will best represent them and Tennessee 4-H.

Hawkins County has been very well represented at this event throughout the years, and this year was no exception. Hawkins County had three finalists competing within their 4-H project where they were interviewed and had to give a presentation.

These students include: Laura Grace Jenkins (Line and Design), Gema Brooks (Beef), and Jim Jenkins (Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries).

Laura Grace was the State winner within the Line and Design project and received the coveted silver bowl, a $500 scholarship, and a trip to National 4-H Congress.

Also during this week long event, there are programs set aside to honor and recognize 4-H members that have achieved academic excellence in school as well as excellence throughout their 4-H career. This year Jacey Moncier was awarded three different 4-H scholarships which include the TFGA Mary B. Cooper Scholarship ($500), the Stephen McNeil Memorial Scholarship ($500), and the Charlene Powell Memorial Scholarship ($1000). Not only were scholarship recipients recognized, but 4-H members who received the Vol State Award were recognized as well. This is the highest award in 4-H that can be given to any Junior or Senior who has excelled in project achievement, leadership, and citizenship. This year Hawkins County had two Vol State recipients, Laura Grace Jenkins and Kyle Price.

Lastly, one of the biggest and most anticipated events of the week is the election of the new TN 4-H State Council Officers. If 4-H members would like to run for a State Council position, they must first be elected in a primary race by their region to represent said region for each different position. Once elected as the regional representative, 4-H members who were chosen take the week to get to know all the 4-H members from across the state and hear their concerns as well as praises for the 4-H program.

This year, Laura Grace Jenkins was elected by the Eastern Region to be the Eastern Region candidate to run for State Council President. Throughout the week, Laura Grace was able to share her love for the 4-H program and her story on how it has effected and changed her life to fellow 4-H members.

At the conclusion of the week, it was announced that Laura Grace was elected by popular vote to represent Tennessee 4-H as the new State Council President for the 2019-2020 year. This is a huge honor, and because of this great accomplishment, the Hawkins County 4-H Program will be hosting a drop-in reception for Laura Grace on Sept. 17 at Occasions on the Square, in Rogersville, from 3:30 — 6 p.m. We encourage all those who would like to congratulate her, hear her 4-H story, or learn more about the 4-H program to please stop by on Sept. 17.