Youth Pages: Traveling with 4-H through Horticulture Contest

I just got back from San Diego, California. Now, let me tell you how I got there. I live on an organic dairy farm with my family in a small town in Northern New York. I have been in the 4-H horticulture program for 8 years now. The first year I did the horticulture ID contest at our County Fair and I really enjoyed it. The next year I did the contest again at the County Fair and was put on the New York State Fair team for St. Lawrence County. I continued doing this for a few years. I also am in a 4-H Horticulture Club. Bill McKentley, my leader, takes us on walks through his nursery and shows us all of his plants. We hold monthly meetings at his nursery where he talks to us about plants.

Heather Tweedie receiving award

Heather Tweedie at the National Horticulture Contest in San Diego. Photo courtesy of Heather Tweedie.

When I was 15, I qualified to go to the national contest at the convention for the National Junior Horticulture Association. The first year I went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The next year I went to Cleveland, Ohio. This year I went all the way to San Diego, California. I had never been to California.  My family and I traveled by train. I had a really great time and saw many new things. I was able to go to the San Diego Zoo, the biggest zoo in the country. I also went to Sea World!

I have a small business selling plants which I have started in our greenhouse from seedlings that I have purchased. I would like to expand the business next year. Without being in 4-H, I would not have been able to go to all these places and do all these things. Thank You 4-H for giving me these experiences!

For more information on how to join 4-H visit

Claire Morrow

Claire is preparing to start her senior year as a Plant Science major in CALS. She is concentrating in sustainable plant production, and hopes to one day work in extension to help farmers implement sustainable practices that are both economically feasible for them and good for the planet. She is from a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where she learned to appreciate nature and great farm fresh food. She is excited to have the opportunity to both help out with Small Farms programming and get her hands dirty on the research farm this summer.
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