Ali Merritt a nine year member of the Forever Buds 4-H club was awarded the highest honor a Montana 4-H member can receive for 4-H project work; a state award. Merritt applied for a state award for her dedication and work in the market and breeding beef projects in May and received the award at Montana 4-H Congress in Bozeman during the month of July. A state award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of 4-H members who have reached a standard of excellence in a project area. State award winners have gone above and beyond regular project work with a focus on leadership, communication and community service. Merritt has been involved in the market beef project for eight years and the breeding beef project for seven years.

As mentioned, Merritt has gone above and beyond in both projects. Not only does she keep immaculate records of her herd and operation but she also is a member and officer for the Montana Junior Red Angus Association and has been officially certified in Artificial Insemination to continue improving her Red Angus herd. Merritt can also be found lending a helping hand to others in the 4-H beef projects. She has traveled all over Richland County helping younger members learn more about beef and how to prepare them for show. She also aided Richland County 4-H Junior Leaders in teaching at the Market Quality Assurance Training and the showmanship clinics.

Due to this accomplishment Merritt will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, this November to represent Montana 4-H at National 4-H Congress with the other state award and contest winners.

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