Pasco County 4-H Youth becomes 4-H State Council Secretary
Eight years ago, Montana Rose Smith was “kind of dragged into 4-H” when her mother bought a pair of dairy goats because her brother, Bubba Jessie, loved goats. That’s when Emily Smith told her children they were going to join 4-H. They did and became members of the 4-H since then Montana, who is 17, has given both her parents and 4-H Agent, lots of reasons to be proud.
Montana has held leadership positions at the county, district and state levels within 4-H. She was a member of the 4-H State Executive Board for the last three years and this year she was elected Secretary of the Florida 4-H Council. Her most recent accomplishment was placing 1st place in this year’s state 4-H Tailgate BBQ contest in Gainesville bringing home $1,500 in scholarship money and had the highest score in the contest.
Montana has previously shown dairy goats, chicken, turkeys, rabbits, pigs and beef heifers. 4-H members are required to keep books recording their progress in their individual projects. Montana received the highest award, the Emerald Award for her 4-H work and has placed in the top 10 in various dairy goat shows across the state between 2012 and 2017. Montana received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for 2015-16 for her service hours. “As a member of the State Council, I bring the BIG M and I am not referring to Montana,” she said in her application for the state office. “B’ is for Belonging, ensuring every member feels included and that Florida 4-H is an all-inclusive organization. The ‘I’ represents Independence, helping members to grow into productive and responsible citizens. ‘G’ is for the heart, Generosity instilling the importance of lending a helping hand to our fellow members and in our communities. Finally, ‘M’ is for Mastery, teaching real world skills, giving a safe place to face challenges and a platform to showcase their success,” she concluded. Montana said she had established timelines for specific actions in projects in which she had previously been involved and had assigned job duties and built volunteer schedules for each event and communicated between youth volunteers and adult volunteers. “Teamwork is a must as is cooperation,” Montana said. “They make tasks easier and sometimes more fun.”
Montana’s other 4-H leadership experience includes being president of 4-H District IX from 2015-17 and its treasurer from 2014-15. There are 13 4-H districts Florida and District IX is comprised of Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. She had to attend quarterly meetings at various sites while serving as District IX president. Montana was also Pasco County Council President for the last three years and Legend Dairy 4-H President from 2013-15. She is currently a junior at Florida Virtual School. Montana plans on attending UF after she graduates in 2019. She plans a major in pathology and science with a career goal of being an inspector of carcass animals for the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information you can go to http://florida4h.org/