An extensive number of Cecil County rooted themselves in success at the recent National 4-H Horticulture competition held in Indianapolis.
Seth Donnelley, a member of the Calvert Boys and Girls 4-H Club, earned first place and Grand National Winner honors. Donnelley, 17, said his win was a cumulative effect.
"I started horticulture judging when I was nine I think. It's interesting and I've learned a lot over the years," said Donnelley, who earned $200 in cash prizes.
But he has also learned that the experience pays off in food. He grows his own garden.
Donnelley was also the National Winner in the Experimental Horticulture Educational Display category.
He wasn't the only one who came back a winner.
Rachel Ward, 15, a member of the Kids of the Future 4-H Club, placed second as part of the 4-H Judging Team. She already knew the drill. She is the last of eight children in her family who all have served as judges. "It was interesting, fun, and nerve-racking," said Ward, who started judging eight year ago.
She was also part of a flower arranging competition. "Later, I found out everything I did was wrong. Now I know how to do flower arrangements," she said.
The winning ways continued for local 4-Hers.
Cecil Countian Paige Racine of the Stars and Stripes 4-H Club was the Grand National Winner in the age 11-14 photography category. Taylor Knight, also a member of the Kids of the Future 4-H Club, placed 12th overall in judging. Maryland youths placed fourth overall in 4-H Team judging.
Maryland's team also placed first in the State Display contest which had 4-H Club members promoting agriculture and horticulture.
Maryland's Delegation, consisting of club members from Cecil, Harford, and Frederick counties earned the Spirit Award for demonstrating enthusiasm, participating in events, and having a positive attitude during the convention.
In the Junior Identification category, Harlan King from Cecil placed first in the 5-7 age category. William Donnelley placed second in the same category in the 11-14 age group. They are both members of Calvert Boys and Girls 4-H Club. Melinda Ward from Cecil placed seventh in the Honors Division - Identification category. In the flower arrangement category, Cecil club members Rachel Ward, Melinda Ward, and Taylor Knight, did well.
Connie King, a lifelong volunteer with Cecil County 4-H, who is also an advocate for Horticulture programs, received the Diamond Award from the National Junior Horticulture Association.
In addition to finding success in competition, the locals toured the White River Gardens, Indianapolis Museum of Art and Gardens, POET Bio-Refining, Hilltop Orchids, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.