Jack Berryhill wins Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award

Jack Berryhill

Hot Spring County teen Jack Berryhill’s term as president of Arkansas 4-H ended on a high note—with him receiving the Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award, the highest honor awarded in Arkansas 4-H.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Berryhill, 18, as the winner on July 26 in a recorded message played during the Arkansas 4-H Awards of Excellence ceremony at the University of Arkansas. More than 250 4-H members from across the state spent the week on the Fayetteville campus competing in State 4-H O’Rama events, ranging from archery and ATV safety to public speaking and poultry judging.

“The Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award is the highest honor a 4-H’er can receive,” Sanders said. “Each of our finalists has done fantastic work in their community and is setting themself up for a lifetime of service. Though only one can receive the award, all four of you have achieved amazing results for 4-H and the entire state of Arkansas.”

Berryhill received a $3,000 college scholarship, a silver tray, and his name will be added to a plaque on permanent display at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Little Rock.

“I’m just incredibly honored and grateful,” he said after receiving the award.

Three other 4-H members were in the running for the top award — Laven Franklin of Madison County; Lani McClure of Pope County; and Ethan Wolcott of Sevier County.

They each received a $1,000 scholarship.

“We had an exceptional group of finalists for our governor’s scholarship this year. All four demonstrated a strong connection to their communities, amazing leadership skills, and an excitement for their futures,” said Debbie Nistler, assistant vice president for 4-H and youth development for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “I did not envy the judges having to make a decision. Jack Berryhill is an amazing example of our young people in Arkansas 4-H and did a wonderful job leading our officer team as president this year. Jack is passionate about mentoring other members and providing a positive example for others to follow.”

Selection is based on nominees’ accomplishments in leadership, citizenship, community service, 4-H projects and activities and overall contributions to Arkansas 4-H. The award is presented during the weeklong State O’Rama. During the week, 4-H members also elect state officers for the next year. For Berryhill, receiving the Governor’s Award was the perfect end to his year as president.

Over the past year, Berryhill has promoted 4-H at events across the state, sharing his experiences and his message that “4-H is better when we’re in it together.”

That doesn’t mean he’s done though. Berryhill plans to be active in Collegiate 4-H at the University of Arkansas, where he will be a freshman his fall. He plans to major in poultry science and agricultural leadership – two areas in which he has gained skills and knowledge through 4-H.

“4-H completely put me on the path I’m on now,” he said. “I think I’d like to work for Extension one day.”

Berryhill, a Hot Spring County native, joined 4-H when he was 8. He started with an Animal Science project with chickens and rabbits but later switched to Foods and Nutrition and Leadership. He has been involved in 4-H at every level. At the county level, he showed chickens and rabbits, attended workshops, and worked on community service projects. At the district level, he competed in the Poultry BBQ Contest and O’Rama. At the state level, he worked as a 4-H camp counselor, a member of the Arkansas 4-H Video Crew and served as state president.

“Leadership has certainly been my biggest project, and it’s the one that means the most to me,” he said.