Katy Coombs and Shadow: Family from the Beginning
By Holly Young, Special Events and Outreach Coordinator
Not many of us can say we’ve had a four-legged friend for 20 years, starting when we were six. And this is a four-legged animal that’s pretty hard to “crate” around the country.
But that’s a proud proclamation from Katy Coombs, the newest member of the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire. It began when Shadow, her now 20-year-old Morgan, was born at her home in Sandwich.
Shadow was her horse from that moment on—as she trained him in his formative years, as he traveled with her to Sweet Briar College in Virginia, then a horse farm in Virginia, a therapeutic riding school in New York, before coming full circle and returning home to New Hampshire with Katy.
Training was a process for both, but a continuing thread throughout was a connection to 4-H, and one of the reasons Katy decided it was important for her to become a 4-H Foundation board member.
She joined 4-H when she was five, and while working with horses was a focus for her, she also did sewing and crafts. She became a junior leader in high school, continuing until she was a sophomore in college.
“I feel a lot of what I have today is due to 4-H,” she notes. “I hope I can make kids feel the way I did.”
Katy has two brothers, one an aspiring photographer who works in the family business, and one who is serving in the Naval Special Forces. Her entire family was involved in 4-H as she was growing up, including one brother who, she laughs, even did sewing.
That Shadow is a part of her life is unquestionable. He was part of the equestrian team at college with her, served as a therapeutic horse while she worked in New York, and continues to “teach me a lot about myself. That’s why horses are so effective at therapy,” she adds.
Katy, who is now a loan officer for Yankee Farm Credit, remains active in the Morgan horse world. Earning not only a business degree from Sweet Briar, she also received an equestrian certificate in training and school horses.
After work at Yankee Farm Credit in White River Junction, Vt, she often hops into her card, along with her Llewellyn Setter, Hank, and heads to Bradford, Vt., where she continues to train Morgans at the renowned Newmont Morgans. The horses range from newborns to two-year-olds, and she feels fortunate to keep her hands in the training of this breed.
As for the 4-H Foundation, Katy’s already jumped in with both feet. She scooped ice cream at the NH Farm and Forest Expo as a 4-H Foundation fundraiser, and immediately joined the Foundation’s sub-committee for the 14th annual Tom Fairchild Friend of 4-H golf tournament coming up on May 12.
Even though, she laughs, “I don’t know golf. It’s a foreign language to me!”
4-H Foundation Scoops Ice Cream for Camp Scholarships
4-H Foundation board members and volunteers scooped gallons of ice cream at this year's New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo.
This long-held tradition this year focused on raising money for camp scholarships, allowing youth to attend UNH Cooperative Extension's Barry 4-H Conservation Camp in Berlin.
The event was a success, and the volunteers who helped scoop actually ran out of Blake's ice cream, a crowd favorite, Saturday afternoon of the event.
Our thanks to all who volunteered, or donated, to help make this a successful event.
4-H Foundation Recognizes Two Long-Term Supporters
By Holly Young, Special Events and Outreach Coordinator
Long-term advocates and supporters of New Hampshire 4-H were recipients this week of the highest awards given by the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire at its annual meeting, held at Beaver Meadow Country Club in Concord.
More than 70 4-H supporters attended the event, where Lynn Garland, a recipient of a 50 Years of Service award, was recognized as the New Hampshire 4-H Alumni of the Year. As well, The Robertson Agency of Northwood received the Foundation’s “Friend of 4-H” Business of the Year award.
Extension Youth and Family Program Leader Michael Young presented Garland with the award, and talked about her long career and volunteer effort with 4-H. “Lynn Garland started her 4-H experience at age seven in the Maryland 4-H program and it continued throughout her college years. As a youth, she served as a junior leader of several clubs, worked on committees for fashion revue, 4-H camp, demonstration days, and fairs. For four years, she worked as an assistant in the University of Maryland State 4-H office during a period of major transition. She was selected for the Maryland 4-H All Stars and National 4-H Congress.
Upon graduation from the University of Maryland in 1969, she accepted the Rockingham County 4-H Club agent position and continued in that role until her retirement in 2008. During her professional career in Extension, Lynn coordinated a diverse and balanced 4-H program where she provided leadership and support to thousands of 4-H members and volunteers. She initiated Favorite Foods Festivals, Spaces Conferences, Family Consumer Science project tours, focused leader trainings, horse career day, several teen exchanges, and even international trips.”
Garland served on the National 4-H Curriculum team for the Financial Champions series. In addition to her professional Cooperative Extension 4-H work, for 50 years she also has served as a 4-H volunteer by leading clubs—helping youth learn, gain skills, develop their potentials and become better people.
“She loves seeing a 4-H'er’s eyes light up as they accomplish a goal while developing life skills and confidence,” Young added. Garland has been president of the state and New England 4-H Educator Associations, and served as the Northeast Director of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.
This year’s winner of the Friend of 4-H Business Award starts off as a love story. As Todd Hammond, Foundation board member noted, it began when “boy meets girl, in 4-H, they have four children, all involved in 4-H, then have a business that continually gives to… yes you guessed it, 4-H.”
It’s a family business that began about 29 years ago in Northwood. Robert Robertson started a small insurance company, The Robertson Agency. As time went on, the business grew, and soon Robbie’s wife, Sue and son Andy joined the business. Throughout the years the Robertson’s never forgot what brought them together, 4-H.
Through the business, they have always been strong supporters of the 4-H programs. If it is Deerfield Fair, the Tom Fairchild Golf Tournament or various other programs throughout the state, The Robert Agency likely is somehow involved. “Robert and Andy both found time to be members of this Foundation, as representatives of their business. Sue also represented throughout the state, most recently as a member of the planning committee for last year’s New Hampshire 4-H Alumni event.”
Those in attendance also heard from Kate Guerdat, Extension Associate Professor/4-H Youth Specialist, about the new Youth Leadership Team program, and Years of Service awards were presented to volunteers, who in total, have given more than 1,000 years of combined service to 4-H in New Hampshire.
(In the top photo are Lynn Garland and Michael Young. In the photo to the left, from the left, are 4-H Foundation Executive Director Jim Doyle, Andy Robertson, Robbie and Sue Robertson, and 4-H Foundation Board member Todd Hammond.)
Jim Doyle Named 4-H Foundation Executive Director
Jim Doyle is the new executive director for the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire. His role in this capacity began on the retirement of long-time 4-H state specialist and former executive director Wendy Brock. Doyle will continue to serve in a concurrent role as development officer for UNH Cooperative Extension.
“Wendy Brock has worked so hard for so long making the 4-H Foundation as strong and vibrant as it is today.” Doyle said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of continuing that tradition of excellence.”
In his expanded role, Doyle will work closely with the 4-H Foundation Board of Directors to raise funds to support 4-H programs across the state. He joined UNH Cooperative Extension in 2014 as development associate, a new position for the organization as it works to expand its fundraising efforts.
Prior to coming onboard with Extension, Doyle served as director of Children & Youth Programs at Camp Calumet Lutheran in Freedom. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Emerson College.
How to apply for a 4-H Foundation Grant
4-H Foundation of New Hampshire...
Supports 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl
Over 70 4-H members from throughout the state attended the NH 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Contest held on Saturday January 17, 2015 at Pembroke Academy in Pembroke, NH. Seven Senior Teams and Four Junior Teams competed with other 4-H members to demonstrate their horse knowledge in a fast paced contest, where members race to activate their buzzers and answer questions faster than their competitors. In the senior division, the top competitors can earn a spot on the team that represents NH at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville Kentucky in November. (Read more with photos)
Supports State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl
The New Hampshire 4-H Foundation recently sponsored the New Hampshire State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest which took place in Walpole, NH. 4-H members from Grafton, Coos, Merrimack, and Cheshire Counties participated in the event. Twenty senior members participated in the contest in an effort to earn a position on the state team which will participate in the Quiz Bowls at Eastern States Exposition and the National Dairy Quiz Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky in the fall. (Read more)
Helps Youth Thrive
4-H Foundation of New Hampshire board members were asked "Why do you want to serve? One member responded, "I enjoy working for a program where youth thrive. We are not trying to fix kids, we are giving them opportunities to discover their own talents." (Read more from the Annual Report 2014.)
(Photo: 4-H competitors in the SeaPerch Robotic Program)
Supports Animal Science Bonanza
More than 150 4-H members and volunteers from eight New Hampshire counties participated in the 4-H Animal Science Bonanza held recently at the Walpole Elementary School in Walpole.
4-H members took part in quiz bowls, "skillathons," and had the choice of attending several workshops. “Skillathons” provide information to 4-H members who are interested in cows, sheep, goats, poultry, and horses. (Read more)