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2015 Graduating 4-H’ers

The following graduating 4-Hers and 10-Year 4-H members were honored by the LaGrange County 4-H Fair on July 11.


Austin Beiswanger

Austin Beiswanger is the son of Lew and Rochelle Beiswanger of Wolcottville. He is a graduate of Prairie Heights High School. During his 4-H career, he has taken several projects, such as dairy beef, started calf, beef, crops, sports, aerospace, and tractor maintenance. His favorite projects have been dairy beef and beef. One of his most memorable moments was winning grand champion dairy beef steer his first year. His future plans include going to IPFW to obtain a business degree.


Austin Buonocore

Austin Buonocore is the son of Jackie and Gary Myers and Frank Bounocore. He has been a member of the Lima Lads and Lassies 4-H group. His achievements in 4-H include Grand Champion Dairy Beef, Grand Champion Steer, Grand Champion Started Calf, Junior, Senior, and Premier Showmanship. His favorite projects have been working with beef. Austin said that “4-H has taught me so much about working hard and sticking with a project. Over the years there have been many great memories of fair week but my favorite was the year I won Premier showmanship and was able to compete in All-Around Showmanship. My future plans are attending Ivy Tech and majoring in Construction Technology.”


Jessica Castle

Jessica Castle is the daughter of Tracy and Tina Castle. She has raised and shown swine for four years now. One of her greatest achievements within 4-H was winning Grand Champion for her barrow named Brutus. “One thing I will never forget is how amazing the food is at the Cowboy Kitchen and my reaction to how big the pancakes are. I plan to attend Huntington University in the Fall to major in graphic design,” Castle said.


Amber Chupp

Amber Chupp has been involved in many activities in high school such as band, basketball, and elementary mentoring and was a freshman advisory mentor her junior and senior year. She grew up with horses her whole life and said that fair was always a blast. “I had fun making new friends and making memories with old friends. One of my favorite memories is having water fights with the Weaver family and playing card games until late in the night by our stalls,” she said. She is also involved in a barrel racing association called IBRA (International Barrel Racing Association), and plans to get her Bachelor's Degree as an elementary teacher. Some people who have inspired her to be who she is today are her mom and stepdad, church friends, and best friend who were all there for her during the good and bad times.





Kasandra Clingerman

Kassandra Clingerman is the daughter of Matt Feller. She graduated from East Noble High School and has been involved with the Poultry Club for 10 years and also shows swine.


Dana Crowl

Dana Crowl is the daughter of Gary and Polly Crowl of Angola. She is an Angola High School graduate and member of the Stroh Sunny Spotlighters 4-H Club. Her projects include started calf, dairy, dairy beef and foods. She will be attending International Business College in Fort Wayne in the fall in the vet tech program.


Taylor Eash

Taylor Eash is the son of Rick Eash and Lauri Eash and a member of the Van Buren Bunch. Electric and entomology are his favorite projects. He has achieved Grand Champion in entomology and electric and also participated in crafts, aerospace, and showed a goat in Future 4-H. Eash plans to attend Trine University this fall to study civil engineering. “I will never forget the power of community, friendships, and abilities one learns from years of 4-H,” he said.


Evan Gilliland

Evan Gilliland’s favorite memories in 4-H were with his family, his parents, Bradley and Michel Gilliland, and five siblings, and many extended family members who took time to help create these memories with him. “I love spending time with them and 4-H made that happen for six solid months out of the year,” he said. Gilliland feels that the 4-H program is one of the greatest parts of his life and is thankful to have such a great community that works hard to make it all happen.

Throughout his years in 4-H, he has piled up the memories, starting with taking every white building project possible. Over time, he found what things interested him the most such as swine, starter calves, sports, and wildlife and began to focus on those projects. Everything that he was involved with in 4-H taught him something. “When I did not come out on top in showmanship I realized that I had more to learn and found a work ethic that let me achieve greater success in the future. Through my failures I was able to learn how to make it to the top! Perseverance earned me Grand Champion Barrow here at the county fair swine show and Grand Champion Barrow the next year at the State Fair,” Gilliland said.


Monali Grossman

Monali Grossman is the daughter of Brian and Molly Grossman of LaGrange and a member of the Wolcottville Can Bees 4-H Club. She has completed nearly 100 projects in 4-H and had 23 go to the state fair. Her favorite projects have been flowers, health, photography, and poultry. Monali is a 2015 Prairie Heights High School graduate who plans to attend college this fall for training as a veterinary clinic worker.



Brody Jantzi

Brody Jantzi is the son of Jerry and Kelly Jantzi from Shipshewana and is a 10-year member of both the Horse and Pony Club and the Goat Club. The experiences he has had as a 10-year member of 4-H have taught him how to work hard for what he wants and to make many friends along the way. “It also taught me that sometimes the best and worst part of life is its unpredictability,” he said. His future plans include attending Nebraska University next fall to major in journalism and broadcasting, with his dream job to broadcast the March Madness basketball games.


Madison Jones

Madison Jones said that, over the last 10 years, every fair week is memorable but the best memories of 4-H have to be with her horses. “Winning double bareback with Becca was one of the best,” she said. Another awesome memory was the shovel races in the arena. The great friendships she has made over the years are friendships that will last after she is finished with 4-H, she added. “I also want to thank all of the leaders that have helped me over my years in 4-H, without your sacrifice of time and energy for 4-H could not go on and I would not have learned all that I have,” Jones said.


Emory Klopfenstein

Emory Klopfenstein is the daughter of Jon and Erica Klopfenstein of Howe. She has been involved with the LaGrange County 4-H Fair for 10 years, and is a tenure member of the 4-H Sheep Club. Showing lambs is her favorite project. She has also shown pigs for nine years and calves for three. Emory graduated from Lakeland High School and plans on attending Indiana University Bloomington in the fall with a major in athletic training and sports massage therapy. She has also been actively involved in mission work in Nicaragua, and played soccer all throughout high school. “A huge thank-you to the LaGrange County 4-H, which has taught me that hard work and dedication will always help you achieve great things, even when the task at hand isn’t always very easy,” she stated.


Zoe Lehmer

Zoe Lehmer is the daughter of Shahn Lehmer. She graduated from Lakeland High School and has competed in the poultry and rabbit projects for seven years.






















Rebecca Levitz

Rebecca Levitz is the daughter of Dan and Robin Levitz. She has been a member of the LaGrange County Horse and Pony Club for 10 consecutive years and also an active member of the Swine Club for all 10 years. She has created a scrapbook every year for eight years, and was crowned Miss LaGrange County 2014. Within the Horse and Pony Club, she has participated in all of the contesting events and has been an active member on the drill team for two years. Over her 10 years in 4-H, she says that showing her horses has been her absolute favorite. However, she has enjoyed all of the late nights at the campfire by the camper and sitting in the tack stall talking with her friends. She also says that she is extremely proud of herself for participating in the queen contest, which made her realize how much 4-H involvement has taught her. In the fall, Rebecca will be attending Purdue University and pursuing an education in exercise science on a pre-physical therapy track.


Nicole McKibben

Nicole McKibben is the daughter of Carey and Kim McKibben and this year will be her 10th year participating in 4-H. She has been a member of the South Milford Mighty Mites Club for the past 10 years. Throughout 4-H she has shown swine and started calves. “It is always fun selecting my animals and watching them grow,” she said. She noted that she has made great friends though 4-H and even better memories. “I would not trade my time at fair for anything,” she added. This fall, she will attend Purdue University to major in agricultural business with a focus in marketing. Growing up on a farm and participating in 4-H greatly influenced her career path, she said.


Erin Miller

Erin Miller is the daughter of Mel and Shawn Miller and a 10-year 4-H member. Over the years she has been involved in many projects, including horse and pony, collections, gift wrapping, recycling, reading, arts and crafts, creative writing, foods, microwave foods, and genealogy. She has been on the Horse and Pony Jr. Committee for three years and was a youth representative on the LaGrange County Purdue Extension Board. Her favorite award was winning versatility with her horse, Pokey, after only a year of riding English. Her favorite 4-H memories have been getting all of her friends to wash her horse with her so she can spray them with the hose. Erin plans to attend the University of Indianapolis in the fall to major in exercise science and pre-physical therapy.














Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller is the daughter of Sharon Shiltz and Brent Miller. She is a 10-year member of the Topeka Happy Workers 4-H Club. Over the years, she has taken many projects, including foods, food preservation, microwave foods, crafts, sewing, electric, cake decorating, collections, child development, aquatic science, dog, sheep, beef, and started calf. Nicole has also taken several projects to the State Fair including her started calves. She attended 4-H Camp and Purdue Round-up and was also involved in Tops in 4-H. One of her best memories about 4-H was spending time in the kitchen cooking and learning about preparing food with her grandma. She attends the First Church of God in LaGrange and currently works as a cook at Miller’s Merry Manor. She will attend Ivy Tech Fort Wayne in the fall to study dietary management.


Kyler Moore

Kyler Moore is the son of Jeff Moore and Emily Christner. He has been in the Howe 4-H Club and participated in started calves and Poultry Club projects at the fair.


Katelyn Myers

Katelyn Myers is the daughter of Dustin and Sarah Myers. She graduated from Lakeland High School and member of the Springfield Sidewinders, participating in dairy beef.


Betsy Perkins

Betsy Perkins, daughter of David and Jenny Perkins of Hudson, is a 10-year member of the Springfield Sidewinders. She has taken a variety of projects throughout her years in 4-H, including swine, dairy beef, goats, photography, sewing, creative writing, wildlife, ATV, arts and crafts and crops. Her achievements include Grand Champion Market Gilt, several Grand Champion Crops projects, Grand Champion in Fashion Revue and sending her photography exhibits to state. She has many fond memories of 4-H including water fights at the wash racks and showing animals throughout the years. She also has many not-so-fond memories of completing numerous record books, being pulled around the ring by her steer, and having to sell her animals at the end of fair. Betsy plans to take a year off from school to explore her options before deciding on a career path.


Tanner Perkins

Tanner Perkins is the son of Eric and Jane Perkins and has been a member of the Stroh Straight Shooters for 10 years. His favorite projects are dairy, started calf, woodworking, and electric. Some of his achievements include state fair in several electrical and woodworking projects. He also won Supreme Grand Champion in the Dairy Show. His future plans include going to college at Indiana Tech and playing baseball. Some of his favorite memories of the LaGrange County 4-H Fair are the water fights at the wash racks and winning the Dairy Show.




Ryan Shoemaker

Ryan Shoemaker is the son of Julie and Patrick Johnston and just graduated from Prairie Heights. His 4-H projects include showing rabbits and goats as well as foods. His achievements include Grand Champion Meat Pen for rabbits, Champion Market Wether in his weight class for goats, and State Fair entry with foods. Ryan is currently working on a dairy farm and plans to obtain his certification in sports medicine. Hobbies include scuba diving, horseback riding, mountain climbing and spending time with his girlfriend and family.


Alyssa Shultz

Over her eight years at the LaGrange County 4-H Fair, Alyssa Shultz has made so many memories that will never be forgotten. “I am so thankful that my parents, Bridgett and Eric Gunther, gave me the opportunity to be involved in 4-H,” she said. Being a part of the Horse and Pony Club and having the chance to compete several times at the mid-state team tournament and being on the color guard team has been an eye-opener to her and is why she wants to pursue being an equine dentist and attend college this coming spring. Over the past years, she has received numerous of ribbons and trophies and even a fifth place ribbon at the Indiana State Fair. “However, these ribbons can’t make up for how many great memories I will always have thanks to LaGrange County 4-H Fair,” she added.


Morgan Sisco

Morgan Sisco is the daughter of Ron and Heidi Sisco of LaGrange. She is a 10-year 4-H member of the LaGrange County Horse and Pony Club and has had many achievements during this time, showing both ponies and horses. She has participated on the horse judging team, judging at the Hoosier Horse Fair and placing 9th out of more than 150 contestants. She has also participated on numerous occasions in the Team Tournament, and went several times to the Indiana State Fair, placing in several events. She was also the high point winner of the club’s open shows in 2014. She has received numerous ribbons and plaques. In the fall, she plans to attend Murray State University with a dual major in agriculture and equine sciences, where she will be part of their rodeo team. “Some of my favorite 4-H memories are the times spent with friends, decorating stalls, dressing up for the costume class, which I won one year, and staying up all night running the Friday night horse show, not to mention the countless friends that I have made,” she said.















Kirstin Smith

Kirstin Smith is the daughter of Kathy Smith, a graduate of Lakeland High School and a 10-year member of the Howe 4-H Club. Throughout her years in 4-H she participated in shooting sports, sheep and pigs. While showing sheep, she won first year, junior, and senior year showmanship, and is in premier this year and looking forward to showing sheep her last year. “I wouldn't be where I am at now without my wonderful family and friends supporting me through it all. God has also been the best guide I could have asked for and I have been blessed beyond anything I could have imagined,” she said. This year in 4-H she is excited about meeting new people, hanging out with friends, spending time with family and showing her animals. “Being able to show with my sister, cousins and friends have made my 4-H years memorable,” Smith stated.


Autumn Southwell

Autumn Southwell is the daughter of Sheila Cleverly and Gary Southwell. She was a member of LaGrange Lucky Clover from 2004-2012 and a member of the Howe 4-H Club from 2013-2015. Over her 4-H career she has taken arts and crafts, sewing, microwave foods, photography, collections, floriculture, recycling, foods, and scrapbooking. Her favorite projects were arts and crafts, photography, scrapbooking, and floriculture and she had many projects throughout the years go to state. She has also received many championships in division, reserve grand champions and champions overall. Her future plans are to attend Indiana University South Bend, majoring in fine arts and a concentration in graphic design.


Nathan Stroup

Nathan Stroup is the son of Michael and Debbie Stroup of Howe. He started in Future 4-H for two years and was a member of LaGrange County 4-H for 10 years beginning with the LaGrange Club, then Lima Lads and Lassies, and finally the Howe Club. He was a past active member of ATV and is still an active member in 4-H Junior Leaders. Nathan has participated in ATV, electric, photography, reading, public speaking, health, recycling, woodworking, beekeeping, and creative writing. He also participated in the Indiana State Fair Youth Leadership Conference put on by the state 4-H, and has gone to the state fair numerous times for public speaking. His favorite memories with 4-H include his volunteer work with Junior Leaders. In the fall he plans to attend St. Joseph’s College to study biology/chemistry on a pre-med track.














John Tracey

John Tracey is the son of Kent and Joy Tracey of Wolcottville and a member of Stroh Sunny Spotlighters 4-H Club. “My 10 years of 4-H have gone by quicker than I thought they would and are filled with many memories and friendships made over the years,” he said. His projects have included dairy, swine, started calf, ATV and shooting sports. His favorite project would be dairy as he loves showing dairy cattle and the friendships made in the dairy barn will last a lifetime. “There are many memories, but the best would have to be the dairy barn’s water wars,” he said. His greatest 4-H achievement was winning Supreme Champion Dairy with his Jersey cow Myla in 2014.


Luke Vaughn

Luke Vaughn is the son of Trennis and Sherry Vaughn. He was homeschooled and participated in the LaGrange County 4-H Shooting Sports Education in both shotgun and .22 rifle.


Kaitlyn Warren

Kaitlyn Warren began her 4-H career after being invited to spend a week at the LaGrange County Fair with her friend, Becca Levitz, the summer between 7th grade and 8th grade. She had always loved horses and spent time at her uncle’s farm riding his horse. Thanks to her parents, she soon had her own horse and joined the Horse and Pony 4-H Club the next year. “My first fair horse was Doc, a rather large thoroughbred. We had a lot to learn,” she said. The next year, her parents found Comet, a better fit to run the speed and action events that she loved. “Some of my favorite memories are staying up really late at the Friday night Open Show and competing with my horse, winning the Battle of the Barns last year, and hanging out with my friends,” she added. She will be attending the Ball State Connect Program through Ivy Tech in Goshen this fall, majoring in elementary education, hoping that she can also teach others her love for athletics.


Kegan Watson

Kegan is the son of Barbara Geng and a graduate of Westview High School. He is a member of the Topeka Happy Workers and has participated in the electric project for five years.


























Hannah Weaver

Hannah Weaver is the daughter of Bob and Melany Weaver of Shipshewana. She is homeschooled and a 10-year member of 4-H. She is a member of the Van Buren Bunch and the Horse and Pony Club. Some of her favorite projects have been reading, horse and pony, .22 rifle, starter calf and child development. Her favorite 4-H memories are water fights by the wash racks and always face planting in the dirt while doing the three-legged race in the horse fun show. Over the years she has won many grand champions and has gone to the state fair multiple times in foods, arts and crafts, child development, and genealogy. Her future plans are to attend Liberty University in Virginia and major in elementary education.