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Four ATI students receive 4-H scholarships

Four Ohio State ATI students were awarded 4-H scholarships at the Wayne County Fair. They were chosen based on their 4-H experience, community activities and scholastic achievements. Ben Rhoads and Morgan Johnson received the General 4-H Scholarship. Elizabeth Gilson received the Doyle Findley Scholarship and Libby Grossniklau received the Junior Fair Baked Goods Contest Scholarship.

Ben Rhoads is the son of Steve and Barb Rhoads of Smithville. He is a 2023 graduate of Smithville High School and a freshman majoring in hydraulic power and agricultural business. A member of the Smithie Whiz Kids, Rhoads is a 13-year 4-Her who has completed 42 projects including goats, breeding and market rabbits, market chickens, market hogs and shooting sports. He was the 2022 Wayne County Junior Fair King and has been an officer of his club, Junior Leaders, and Junior Fair Board. He also was a Cloverbud Camp counselor and CARTEENS leader. In high school, Rhoads played varsity football, was a member of the National Honor · Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Ski Club. He earned his State FFA Degree. "My dedication, teamwork, leadership abilities, and hard work are because of what I have learned through- I out my 4-H years," Rhoads said. "Both programs (4-H and FFA) "have helped make me a better person and will help me throughout my life and career." He listed recruiting several youths to join 4-H as one of his major accomplishments. He hopes to pursue a career in design and sales of hydraulic components and systems.  

Morgan Johnson, the daughter of Russ and Molly Johnson of Wooster, is a sophomore. She is a member of the Livestock Judging Team. In 13 years as a member of the Hoof-N-Hide 4-H Club, she completed 45 projects, including breeding sheep, market lambs, breeding and market goats, poultry, rabbits and market hogs. She won multiple breed Champion awards, Outstanding Market Lamb awards and the Excellence in 4-H Award. She also earned a trip to compete at the National Western Stock Show. She was an officer for her club, Junior Fair Board and Junior Leaders; was crowned Wayne County Junior Fair Princess; counselor for Cloverbud Day Camp and Junior Camp; and member of the livestock and meat judging teams. Additionally, she's involved in the Wayne Presbyterian Church and serves as an Ohio Sheep Improvement Association LEAD Council Junior Director. "Promoting sheep and leading youth in 4-H activities is a passion of mine," said Johnson, who wants to serve the agricultural industry. "I am a firm believer that the ag and livestock industries·shaped who l am today,” she· said, "and I want to give back and help the future generations.

Elizabeth Gilson is the daughter of Kim and Les Gilson of Wooster and an sophomore studying agronomy. A 12-year 4-Her, Gilson was a member of the Jefferson Pioneers and Wayne County Shooting Sports Club. She completed 43 projects that involved food and nutrition, the outdoors, fishing, veterinary science, food science, clothing, guns, laundry, cats gardening, market lambs, breeding sheep and self-determined. She won the Becky Leatherman Gardening Award, earned Outstanding awards on her projects at the county level, and won Outstanding of the Day awards at the state level. As an FFA member, she was active in community service events and competed in soil and livestock judging contests. She also was a member of the National Honor Society, Students Opposed to Drugs and Alcohol and Moreland United Methodist Church Youth Group. Gilson is working on a degree in agronomy and with her degree wants to help local farmers make soil and crop decisions.

Libby Grossniklaus is the daughter of Amanda and Troy Dague, Burbank. She is a sophomore and graduate of Norwayne High School and Wayne County Schools Career Center. She was a 9-year 4-Her, served as an officer for her club, Wayne County Country Cousins, and Junior Leaders, and Junior Fair Board. She also was a CARTEENS leader and a member of the Wayne County Junior Fair Royal Court and 4-H Livestock Judging Team. Her main 4-H project areas were market beef steers, which she showed at the county and state levels, market hogs, market chickens, pygmy goats, cooking, clothing, and still projects. She said 4-H has taught her many life skills such as hard work, communication, and leadership. She received the American FFA degree and in high school was active in sports, including track, cheerleading, and soccer. An agricultural communications major, Grossniklaus wants to own her own consulting business and help agricultural businesses with their social media, website design, and marketing strategies.