Since joining the Wild Oats 4-H Club in 2011, Tesika Kilmer has instilled the beliefs of head, heart, health and hands into her everyday life.
“When I say the 4-H pledge, I know I am living it,” Kilmer said. “I am pledging my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
The 2020 Falconer Central School graduate has spent the past nine years as a member of the club’s hog program, learning about the process of raising and showing an animal, while connecting with others who share her passion for 4-H.
Recently, Kilmer was announced as this year’s 4-H Hog Project Memorial Scholarship recipient. She plans to study agriculture science this fall at SUNY Cobleskill.
Created in 2017 in memory of longtime 4-H educators, David Morrison and Fred Johnson, this scholarship is awarded annually during the Chautauqua County Fair to a graduating high school senior member of the 4-H hog program with plans to study agriculture, business, educational or vocational studies. The scholarship is administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
“We are so proud of Tesika and all of her accomplishments this year,” said Nancy Johnson, who along with her late husband Fred, was very involved in 4-H. “She is a great member and 4-H ambassador.”
Aside from her involvement with the hog program, Kilmer has also been involved with the dairy, sheep, chicken and goat programs, as well as, the Junior Dairy Leaders through Cornell University. In 2019 she was named the first alternate in the Chautauqua County Dairy Princess promotion.
“I remember the senior members who helped me in the past and I love helping the younger kids that could potentially look up to me,” Kilmer said. “Passing on knowledge to the younger kids and helping them so they know that they can always count on me is something that I will always cherish.”