Colusa County 4-H members put best feet forward 

About 40 members of 4-H from clubs throughout Colusa County participated in the annual Presentation Day, held at Princeton High School on Saturday. 

The venue was filled with power points, demonstrations, audio-visual presentations, and speeches.

“We had some really good presentations this year,” said Aubrey Furukawa, Colusa County 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator. “You can really tell when the members put a lot of thought and effort into their presentations.” 

Mackenzie Wills, 11, demonstrated how to hula hoop, and gave a presentation on the health and psychological benefits of the exercise. 

“It helps you lose weight,” said Wills, who practices with the hoop daily. “It helps with stress. It’s a stress reliever.” 

Maddie Hansen, 12, gave a presentation about the Great Depression of the 1930s.

She had done a presentation in school on the Great Depression, said she chose the subject because it affected so many lives. 

Both Wills and Hansen are members of the Princeton 4-H Club. 

“A lot of people were out of work and they didn’t have a lot of money back then when it was happening,” Hansen said of the Great Depression. “The Dust Bowl made people move out of their homes and come to California. They were unemployed.” 

Allison Traynham, of Colusa 4-H, gave a presentation about her experience as Colusa County Mini Miss. 

The 12-year-old Twin Rivers student is just over halfway through her reign, which has kept her busy with parades, ribbon cuttings, and other events, like Pumpkin Village and local festivals.  

Traynham also hosted a fundraiser for pediatric cancer last year, and volunteered at the Colusa County senior luncheon and the annual River Clean-up. 

“It’s been fantastic,” said Traynham, who will be working on the 2019 Mini Miss Pageant with the next bunch of contestants as early as April. 

Rebecca Felix, 12, of Arbuckle 4-H, did a presentation on the art of plastic lacing. 

Felix learned the skill at a camp for youth with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the tissue that lines the joints. 

“I really enjoyed it, so when I was thinking of a presentation that I had to do this year, it was the first thing I thought of,” said Felix, who was diagnosed with JRA when she was two years old. 

Parker Goodman, 12, of Colusa 4-H, gave a presentation on the hut he built for his hogs. 

Goodman, a seventh grander at Egling Middle School, has been raising market hogs for auction at the Colusa County Fair for four years. Goodman is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys shooting trap and fishing and hunting.

“The purpose of a hog hut is to give (the hogs) shelter,” said Goodman, whose three hogs enjoy sleeping in the hut as opposed to the open air. 

Colusa 4-H member Jillian Benner, 11, took a scientific approach to her project after getting a kitchen science kit for Christmas. 

Benner, who enjoy chemistry, made a rocket fueled by a combination of regular household vinegar and baking soda. 

Other 4-H members demonstrated how to make slime, and gave presentations on sports, among many other subjects.   

Furukawa said presentations were not judged against each other but on the Danish System of judging against set criteria, with opportunities for all members to receive a gold award and advance to the area and state competitions. 

Furukawa said 4-H members who participate in Presentation Day develop important life skills, such as planning and organizing, social skills, public speaking and leadership. 

This year’s Presentation Day in Princeton had about four more 4-H members than last year’s. 

“It’s just a little bit of growth, but it is growth,” Furukawa said. “That is what’s important.” 

The Colusa County 4-H Youth Development puts on several Presentation Day workshops each year for members. 

There are about 408 youth participating in 4-H in Colusa County. 

All are encouraged to give a presentation, which can also include skits or ad-lib performances. 

Saturday’s event included 18 adult volunteers; 12 who served as judges and six who served as room hosts. ■