Joseph student selected for National Congress

Written by Katy Nesbitt, The Observer December 16, 2013 11:11 am

ENTERPRISE — Anna Rinehart knows there’s more to 4-H than baking cookies and raising pigs. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, she flew with 11 other Oregon 4-Hers to Atlanta to attend the National 4-H Congress.

A junior at Joseph High School, Rinehart said she applied a year in advance by sending in a resume detailing her years in 4-H since 2007. Rinehart raises pigs, shows her dog, Dolly, and competes with her horse. 

As an eighth-grader she served on the Wallowa County 4-H court and was the leader of the Mighty Mutts dog club.

Rinehart said Extension agents and 4-H leaders review resumes and interview applicants during 4-H Summer Conference held in June on the campus of Oregon State University. She was asked questions like, “How to save 4-H when so many kids switch to FFA in high school,” and “How do you get more kids involved in 4-H programs.” Rinehart, like many kids geared toward agriculture in Wallowa County, keeps a foot in 4-H as well as entering beef competitions in FFA. As for working with younger 4-H kids, she said she has been a leader of some of her clubs and has helped encourage others to speak up for themselves and help them find a voice of their own.

All of the kids who applied for National Congress from Oregon were selected and traveled together from Portland to Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. 

“We had dinner at the hotel and the next we had check-ins,” Rinehart said. “There were all of these kids from different states, almost 1,000.”

Rinehart said she took classes like bread making, social media and swing dancing. They toured where Martin Luther King lived, was buried and the church he attended. For a community service project she said she went to a horse ranch for kids with shaken baby syndrome. She got to work directly with some of the kids and helped take out fencing, a chore not unfamiliar to a ranch girl.