DES MOINES - Being able to stand up in front of a crowd of any size can be terrifying for most people, which makes the communications section of competing in 4-H a popular one, allowing 4-H'ers to conquer that fear.
That's just the case in the Hammitt household. Derek, Mallory and Dallas Hammitt, children of Gary and Jenice Hammitt, of Vincent, took educational presentations to the Webster County Fair and advanced to the 2012 Iowa State Fair.
Derek Hammitt, 16, took his love of ice cream to a different level and shared the recipe of making the treat in a bag for a 4-H project this year.
-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
MALLORY HAMMITT, of Vincent, gives her educational presentation on chopsticks at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.
Hammitt said he learned the art of ice cream in a bag in school last year and thought it would be fun to share.
As part of his talk, he provided the history of ice cream and earned a certificate of merit at state fair.
Dallas Hammitt, 12, presented a unique topic - cap-a-pie - which is head-to-toe medieval armor. Although he said he was anxious competing in the advanced level, he, too, earned a certification of recognition at the Iowa State Fair.
When Mallory Hammitt, 14, sits down for oriental food with her family or friends, chances are she won't be using a fork, but rather chopsticks.
Her know-how of using the traditional oriental eating utensils is unique and she wanted to share that with others, which became her 2012 educational presentation.
Hammitt said this was her fifth year with an educational presentation and had competed at the state fair competing in the past, but said using chopsticks as her subject was different than anything she's presented in the past.
"Chopsticks are used in a completely different culture and it was something not many people know much about," she said.
Hammitt said she was familiar with using chopsticks, but looked up the history online, and to assure she explained the correct method and proper etiquette with them.
"I hope people would try chopsticks and become more multicultural," Hammitt said. "That's why I did my presentation on them."
She earned a certificate of merit for her efforts.
Jenice Hammitt, one of the leaders of the Nifty Newark 4-H Club in Webster County, and her husband, Gary Hammitt, who sits on the Webster County Extension Council, said 4-H is a big part of their family and the experience gained through giving educational presentations at the county and state level will last a lifetime.
"They have educational presentation projects for the experience of getting up in front of people and talking," Jenice said. "It is a lifelong skill they can get started learning early and be comfortable with it."
Having the three siblings competing at the state fair meant a lot, Jenice Hammitt said.
"It was an exciting day," she said. "I am proud of their hard work and 4-H is a great experience for our family.
"It's more than going to the state fair; it's the pride in what they do."