The Somerset County Extension Board celebrated the 100th anniversary of Pennsylvania 4-H during its annual banquet and meeting Nov. 8 at the Sipesville fire hall with more than 100 people in attendance.
There were party favors and candles for everyone’s piece of cake. Also, Lester Lape, 93, of Friedens, served as the keynote speaker for the evening and shared his memories of 4-H. He is a veteran of World War II and earned a Purple Heart.
He talked about being a member of the Baby Beef Club prior to World War II and how there were 12 steers that came by railroad into Somerset from the West. Each young 4-Her pulled a number and the steer they got was according to number on the cow’s rump.
Lape talked about trying to break his steer to lead and how everything was Herefords in those days but now Black Angus are the most popular.
“4-H has always been a good thing for young people,” said Lape in closing. “Three cheers for 4-H and its 100th birthday.”
Four Somerset County residents were elected for a three-year term on the board. They are Bill Blough, Metta Darr, Tammy Hottle and Tanya Zehner.
Bill Blough represents the Jenner Township area. He is a 40 plus year club leader of Jenner Township 4-H Club. He is a former dairy farmer who works at Rich’s Electric Supply part-time in his retirement. He is well-known for his involvement in the Roof Garden Tractor Buddies, a square dancing tractor group in Somerset County.
He is married to the former Jane Hoover for the past 42 years and they have one child, John William Blough, who lives in Cranberry Township, and a granddaughter, Morgan, and grandson, Alexander. Blough was an exchange student with the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) to Japan in 1967.
Metta (Mostoller) Darr represents the Boswell area. She is a retired elementary school teacher of the North Star School District with 33 years of teaching experience. She is a former 4-H leader for Steaks and Chops. She is married to Shelley Darr and they have one daughter, Amanda, who is married to Bob Landis.
Metta enjoys babysitting her two grandsons, Heath, 3, and Hayden, six months. She is a member of Mt. Laurel United Church of Christ and serves as a Sunday school teacher there.