Mason Gaerte’s achievements board shows a handful of the ribbons, trophies and other awards he’s won over his 10 years in the 4-H program. Gaerte is the 2019 achievement winner for Steuben County.

ANGOLA — Over his 10 years in 4-H, Mason Gaerte has exhibited projects ranging from goats to gardening, herbs, recycling and more.

And this year, his last in 4-H, he’s earned top honors by being named the achievement winner at the 2019 Steuben County 4-H Fair that kicked off Friday.

Gaerte is a member of The Conquerors and is a graduate of Angola High School. His parents are Duane and Amy Gaerte.

He is also the 2019 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship winner for Steuben County.

He’ll be able to be seen this fall on the campus of Butler University, Indianapolis, studying either pre-pharmacy or biology to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy or pediatrics.

In his 10-year member biography, Gaerte said 4-H has taught him to challenge himself and helped him create the drive and motivation he needs to get things done.

“The most important thing I have learned is how to work hard, take time to dig into topics and study,” he said in his biography. “I have also learned how to lead others and assist them. My leadership has been a culmination of all my activities and I can’t wait to see where I can take it next.”

Achievements for Gaerte include being named goat barn showman of showmen in 2018. It was a contest he worked hard to make it into and something he found rewarding.

Even in his last year, he found a new project to enter, as he decided to complete the goat poster project for the first time.

“4-H has been one of the biggest preparers towards my future,” said Gaerte on his achievement display board. “Not only have I learned countless lessons that I can take with me out of the arena and exhibit hall, but I have also forged lifelong interests and passions.”

He credits 4-H with helping him narrow down future career options, as projects like goats, wildlife and gardening have led him to pursue life sciences or medicine.

Achievement runners up, in no particular order were:

• Francesca Clifton, 10-year member, Metz Happy-Go-Lucky

• Teryn Stanley, 9-year member, Fremont Ready, Willing and Able

• Kerrigan Williams, 10-year member, Bit and Bridle and Otsego Go-Getters

• Grace Emberton, 6-year member, Bit and Bridle and Otsego Go-Getters

Other participants in the achievement contest included the following, in no particular order:

• Maddison Oberlin, 8-year member, Otsego Go-Getters

• Travis Davenport, 9-year member, Explorers

• Hannah Conley, 8-year member, Otsego Go-Getters

• Griffin Hosek, 8-year member, The Conquerors

• Sydney Craig, 9-year member, Otsego Go-Getters

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