April 6, 2017 - 4:47pm -- sherman.1473@osu.edu
By Bradford Sherman
OSU Jackson County Extension

Two local young men will find themselves among a select group of 4-H members taking part in the prestigious 2017 National 4-H Congress to be held in Atlanta this November.

Chase Dickens, of Oak Hill, and Zayne Warrens, of Jackson, were recently selected as State 4-H Achievement Award winners. They each earned a trip to National 4-H Congress as part of the Ohio 4-H Delegation by placing first in one of 25 program areas. Dickens was the award winner in the Personal Development category, while Warrens was chosen as the winner in Meat Goats.

National 4-H Congress is one of the premiere experiences in which the most outstanding 4-H members across the country can participate. For 90 years, members of the 4-H program have been gathering to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of 4-H at this event. This is the same event that Jackson County’s own D. Merrill Davis served as song leader for 35 years.

National 4-H Congress provides a life-changing experience for youth to meet other 4-H members from across the United States, as they participate in educational workshops focusing on diversity, cultural experiences, leadership, team development and having fun.

County Extension Director and 4-H Extension Educator Erin Dailey explained that this marks the first time Jackson County has ever had two representatives in the same year. They are also the first Jackson County youth to be chosen for the honor since 2011.

“It is a privilege to work with so many outstanding 4-H youth and I am extremely proud of these two teens for their accomplishments,” said Dailey. “They have worked very hard over the last few years to perfect their State 4-H Achievement Award applications and I am so pleased that their hard work has paid off. This is a tremendous opportunity for them and an experience that I am certain will have a lasting impact on their lives.”

To earn this honor, youth compete against hundreds of other 4-H members, between the ages of 14 and 18, by completing an extensive application listing their accomplishments in: 4-H project work, 4-H participation, major 4-H honors, 4-H community service and citizenship, 4-H leadership and non 4-H experiences in their school, church and community.

When asked for his reaction to being named a delegate to National 4-H Congress, Dickens recalled his favorite quote by Thomas Jefferson: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

“That’s always been my philosophy for how I live my life, and I try to apply it to all aspects of my life,” Dickens explained.

He added, “it is also a great honor to be part of history, alongside Zayne, as the first-ever pair of representatives from Jackson County in the same year.”

Warrens says he is most looking forward to seeing the diversity in the participants and programs represented at 4-H National Congress, “this will be the most exciting and greatest experience I’ve ever had through my 4-H career,” he said.

Both also credited Dailey for their growth as 4-H members.

“I’m thankful to Erin for always pushing me to be, not only to be the best 4-H member, but also the best leader and citizen I can be,” said Warrens.

“Erin had such a huge part in this, none of it would be possible without her mentorship,” Dickens stated.

Prior to the trip to Atlanta, Dickens and Warrens will be part of an exclusive group of 28 youth to be officially recognized for their achievements as part of the Ohio 4-H Achievement Awards, hosted by the Ohio 4-H Foundation, June 7 in Columbus.

As Ohio delegates visiting Atlanta, the pair will attend workshops, participate in community service projects and exchange ideas with more than 1,000 youth from all over the country. They will also be treated to educational tours around the city and attend the Congress Gala.

Warrens is of son of Jered and Missy Warrens, of Jackson. He will graduate as a Jackson High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian. He is currently in the process of trying to gain acceptance to the United States Military Academy and wants to serve our country in the U.S Army. He will either attend West Point or Wright State on a valedictorian and ROTC scholarship this fall.

Dickens is the son of Andy and Carina Dickens, of Oak Hill. Following graduation from Oak Hill High School next month, he plans on attending The Ohio State University-ATI located in Wooster, where he will study Animal Science with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.


This past year, the Jackson County 4-H program reached 652 4-H members and Cloverbud youth in the county who took 1,148 4-H projects through 34 community clubs. Through these experiences, youth learned leadership, citizenship and life skills, as well as specific subject matter materials. These youth were directly impacted by 101 adult volunteers who exhibited the value of volunteerism and provided youth with a positive relationship with a caring adult.

The programs that take place through the Ohio State University Extension Office and the Jackson County 4-H Youth Development program are very diverse and reach numerous people in all walks of life. 4-H programming is about much more than the traditional stereotype of livestock and home economics projects. There are more than 200 4-H projects to choose from with projects ranging from electricity to theater arts and everything in between.