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JIS News

MANDEVILLE — Denbigh High School student, Michael Lewis and Corinaldi Avenue Primary School student, Siegel Allen are the 2011 Jamaica 4-H Clubs Boy and Girl of the Year.

The two were crowned at the National Achievement Expo held recently at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon after their projects were judged to be the most outstanding.

Beaming in his achievement, 17-year old Micheal said he worked hard for the title. He stated that his winning poultry project was in keeping with the Ministry of Agriculture’s focus on backyard farming as a means of attaining food security.

“Agriculture is very important and as Dr. Christopher Tufton states, we must ‘eat what we grow and grow what we eat’, which I have embraced in the competition through backyard farming,” the proud Clarendon teen said.

Twelve-year old Siegel was similarly proud of her project, which focused on getting agricultural lands back into production.

The St. James native told JIS News that she wants to see unoccupied agricultural lands put into active use, thereby creating more employment for the nation’s youth and filling the export gap.

Jamaica 4-H Clubs Field Services Coordinator for the Central Region, Edith Wiggan, informed that the Girl and Boy of the Year contest is the most competitive of the expo events.

She explained that it involved research on the history of the 4-H movement, current affairs and display of leadership by the contestants.

“They have to present a project book to show evidence of the projects that they have worked on. It is the event that says ‘I am the best, I am rounded, I am a leader, I know what 4-H has done for me, what it can do for me, what it had done for others and where I can be as a result,” she said.

The national expo, held under the theme: ‘Value-added agriculture for youth transformation and entrepreneurship”, showcased the best valued-added products from Parish Achievements Days held across the island recently.

There were also displays of food items made from pumpkin, which was the featured produce this year.

Several students from across the island copped trophies and other prizes for participating in competitions in sandwich making, cake baking and decorating, agro processing, rabbit care and management, poultry care and management, public speaking, budding and grafting, circumposing and potting.

COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union was a major sponsor of the national expo.