4-Her Hesston Wallace honoredPublished 7:03pm Sunday, January 22, 2012
Drafted! 4-H Club member Hesston Wallace, 14, of Dowagiac, recently returned from Grand Rapids with the plaque he received at the 2012 Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions convention Jan. 12-14.
Nominated by the Cass County Fair Board, the Cassopolis eighth-grader was the only youth to receive a volunteer award.
Though he has a Dowagiac address and attends school in Cassopolis, where he lives near Hampshire Country Club is in Howard Township with a Niles telephone number.
No stranger to awards, Hesston was also named one of 15 outstanding youth to receive a BRAVO award during the 2011 Cass County Fair for his farm toy display.
BRAVO stands for Best Recognized Achievement, Validated Outstanding and is an award given to select 4-Hers who show dedication and work to the best of their ability to complete their projects.
Ironically, Hesston doesn’t show draft horses, but used to exhibit poultry, including chickens and turkeys. He sticks to still exhibits now, including the farm display, candles, wood burning and tin punch.
“He got the fair to put in the class because it didn’t have a class” for his farm layout, according to Hesston’s dad, Tim Wallace. “He went in front of the board. He made it so others can come in with collectibles.”
As for his volunteer work at the fairgrounds in Cassopolis, “I help with putting in and taking out boats and what not stored in the buildings” over the winter. “I weed-eat around the fairground. Really, whatever they need.”
At school, he’s involved with FFA because he’s interested in farming as a career.
“We’ve got a little farm with 50 head of cattle, and I have no fear that if something happened to me today, he could take care of it,” Tim said. “He knows what needs to be done and how to do it.”
“Hesston is an excellent example of the values of 4-H and the life skills it teaches,” according to Stephanie Timm Smith, Cass County 4-H program coordinator.
To learn more about the Cass County 4-H program, contact Michigan State University Extension at 120 N. Broadway, Suite 209, in the 1899 courthouse; call (269) 445-4438.
It is the mission of 4-H to create non-formal, educational opportunities to help youth thrive in a complex and changing world.