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Woodard honored with top award at State 4-H Roundup

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pittsburg County 4-H’er Serena Woodard took home top honors during the 98th State 4-H Roundup. (Photo by Todd Johnson, Agricultural Communications Services)

Serena Woodard learned early in her 4-H career to set goals. She saw the success of her older sister, Megan, and knew from the beginning she wanted to follow in her path.

Woodard has since learned to blaze her own trail and she hasn’t looked back since. Her determination, hard work and ability to come back even when the cards seemed stacked against her played a significant part in Woodard taking home top honors at the 98th State 4-H Roundup when she was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame.

In addition to the Hall of Fame honor, Woodard also received the Outstanding 4-H Member scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship is sponsored by BancFirst.

Woodard, a member of the Canadian 4-H Club, said her early goals were to hold an office and win a blue ribbon at the fair. When she was nine years old, she ran for a junior 4-H office and won.

“I knew then my 4-H career was off to a fantastic start,” she said. “Later I entered my witch sock puppet in the county fair. I’d spent all summer preparing for the fair. I was so excited to win at the county fair because that meant it would travel to the Tulsa State Fair.”

That sock puppet garnered a blue ribbon and, as Woodard said, “I learned if I set my mind to accomplishing a goal, I knew I would be able to achieve it. Over the years, I set many more goals for myself, such as serving 4-H on every level, winning high honors, expanding my workshops, serving others, and above all else, to make the best better in every situation possible.”

And she has done just that. Not only does she add Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame winner to her long list of accomplishments, she also has been recognized on the national level. In 2018, Woodard was recognized as the Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Award. This national award recognized her resilience and leadership within the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development Program and showcases individuals who have overcome challenges and used their 4-H knowledge to create a lasting impact.

After winning the Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Award, Woodard was selected by National 4-H Council as the agriculture spokesperson for the program. This has since led to other speaking opportunities, job offers, shadowing opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

Woodard’s impact on others is widespread in Oklahoma. As a sixth grader, Woodard, along with her sister Megan, began teaching Woodard’s Workshops. At the time, these workshops were more directed at crafts that club members could enter in the fair. About this same time, Woodard was expanding her sights in 4-H and decided to get a goal and learn more about agriculture.

“Not long after that I changed the focus of the workshops from being mostly craft-based to more agricultural information,” she said. “Many of my classmates didn’t know much about agriculture and how much it impacts our everyday lives.”

The workshops cover different areas in agricultural science such as beekeeping, entomology, animal science, hydroponics and gardening, and are more than simply telling students about agriculture. She creates hands-on opportunities to help reinforce the lesson.
She and her sister taught the workshops together, but after Megan graduated, Woodard continued on her own. She has traveled to 59 counties across the state and has taught more than 400 workshops that reached 44,000 students.

During her nine-year 4-H career, one lesson Woodard has learned is the importance of resilience. She also has learned that in 4-H, someone always has your back. This was proven to her in March 2017 when her family’s home burned in an arson fire. Within 48 hours, the 4-H family had donated feed for her animals and other necessities for the family.

During her nine-year 4-H career, one lesson Woodard has learned is the importance of resilience. She also has learned that in 4-H, someone always has your back. This was proven to her in March 2017 when her family’s home burned in an arson fire. Within 48 hours, the 4-H family had donated feed for her animals and other necessities for the family.

Woodard’s awards, accomplishments and leadership roles in 4-H are plentiful. She has held leadership positions including Pittsburg County 4-H president, State 4-H Ambassador, Southeast District representative for the State 4-H Leadership Council and served as an advisor for the Pittsburg County Ambassador Program. She has been a delegate to Citizenship Washington Focus, Denver Western Roundup, National 4-H Conference, 4-H Day at the Capitol and National 4-H Congress.

“Being a leader means you help people be the best they can be, not bossing them around and making everyone do your work.” This was Woodard’s definition of leadership as a 10-year-old. Since that time, she has lived up to this childhood definition.

“Leaders, officers, chairs of committees – they aren’t there for looks. They invest hours upon hours for their group and always are trying to find ways to improve the situation and themselves,” Woodard said. “We have setbacks, but always strive and push forward. We don’t work for fame to our name, we work to make a difference and hopefully leave a positive impact on a few lives. We set goals for ourselves and our team and won’t quit until every single one of them is accomplished.”

A 2019 graduate of Canadian High School, she is the daughter of Anthony and Katherine Woodard. She is attending college at Rose State this fall.

MEDIA CONTACT: Trisha Gedon | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-3625 | trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

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