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Senior Spotlight Taylor Yoder

girl holding calf

Taylor Yoder

Taylor Yoder is the daughter of David and Robin Yoder of Altha, FL. Taylor is a senior and has been homeschooled along with her 3 sisters. Her plan after graduating is to attend Chipola College and then pursue an ag business degree.

Taylor has been a member of the Jackson County 4-H club since 2017. Some of the events she has been a part of include Chopped Challenge, Holiday bake-offs, arts and crafts contest though the Panhandle Youth Expo, and is an active member of the livestock club. As a member of the livestock club, Taylor has participated in numerous judging contests across the Southeast. Her team was the third-place team in the 2022 state 4-H contest. In addition, she was the overall high individual in this contest.

In addition to these activities, Taylor helped start and holds a leadership role in the Jackson County Junior Cattleman’s Association, she has been a two-time state voting delegate for Jackson County 4-H, and is a board member for the Junior Florida Simmental Association.

Taylor is most passionate about cattle breeding, showing, and judging. Taylor had the reserve grand champion steer at the North Florida Fair in 2021 and exhibited the grand champion steer at this fair in 2022. She has also participated in the PYE steer show since 2017 and had the reserve champion steer in 2021. She has also won best county raised steer three times.

The thing that means the most to Taylor from being a part of 4-H is that it has prepared her to be able to face a challenge with confidence. Her time showing, judging, and giving reasons has helped to instill this confidence in her. These activities have created a love for cattle and has helped shape what her future will involve. Lifelong friendships and connections across the state have also played a huge role in her desire to pursue future endeavors in the cattle industry.

This story prepared by Patti Peacock, Jackson County 4-H

Senior Spotlight Dylan Ziglar

image of jackson County Senior

Jackson County 4-H Senior Dylan Ziglar

Dylan Conner Ziglar joined 4H Jackson County Livestock Club in 2012. Dylan has had opportunities to participate in poultry judging, meat judging and livestock judging earning many awards and ribbons. Dylan has participated in the Chick Chain project, State Poultry Judging Competition earning 2nd place high individual in 2019 and a spot on the Florida Team at the National Egg Poultry Conference with the Florida Team placing 6th in the country and was on the Florida National Livestock Skillathon Team. He has earned multiple individual and team awards in meat, poultry and livestock judging competitions in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

Dylan has also been a member of Marianna High School FFA participating in FFA poultry and meats judging competitions. He is a volunteer at Evangel Church in the audio/visual department. Dylan is a member of the Jackson County Junior Cattleman’s Association in Florida and currently serves as the secretary. In 2021 he was a vital member of the Jr Cattleman’s Quiz bowl Team placing first in the Cattleman’s convention Quiz bowl competition.

Dylan is a vital part of his family farm, The Lazy Acres Family Farm, in Marianna and is the operation manager of the swine operation and assists his parents in other farm chores and work. Following high school, Dylan plans to enroll at Florida Panhandle Technical College and pursue a certification as an electrician. Dylan’s dream is to one day be an entrepreneur/business owner.

To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, organizational skills, and goal setting, to your children or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.

Article Submitted by Doug Mayo and Patti Peacock


Graduating Senior Spotlight- Marley Reynolds

Graduating Senior Marley Reynolds

Marley’s love of camping is what drew her to the 4-H program.

With 2020, everything is different and new.  When talking with 17-year-old Santa Rosa County 4-H member, Marley Reynolds, she explains just how different 2020 ended up being for her.  Marley said, “This was supposed to be my final year, I was really looking forward to doing Executive Board and having one last year as a camp counselor, but for better or for worse I ended up graduating a year early!”  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Marley had to accelerate her homeschool learning.  Since she was already home and couldn’t do anything more than her schooling, she decided to go ahead and graduate. It was not something she took lightly and knew that with the change, she would shift from being a last year 4-H member to Alumni just that fast.  She said, “It was very sudden but now I’m a second-year student at Pensacola State College and I’m slated to complete my General Education AA in Spring 2021.”

When asked what 4-H has meant to her, Marley replied, “4-H had always been a special place for me. I first joined because I heard about Camp Timpoochee and had been asking my parents to go to an overnight sleep-away camp for a while. It was amazing, and I still have the friends I met at camp that year.”  Along with summer camp, Marley participated in the Marine Ecology competition at the state level and served many hours with the program as a teen volunteer.  Marley and her family assisted the rest of Santa Rosa County with our annual Veteran’s Day Cookouts.  Marley was able to use her leadership skills as a camp counselor for many years and helped to make camp week wonderful for many youth new to 4-H and camping.

With all of the 4-H events that Marley participated in, she said this about 4-H Day at the Capital, “I think it was my favorite event, mainly because I really liked visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History every year.”  Marley and several other teens planned a primitive camping weekend and it was very eventful!  She remembers, “My favorite memory was the camping trip we went on. It was my 13th birthday and it rained so hard the second day that we had to go home.”  One of the other campers said, “It’s not about having fun, it’s about making memories” We definitely made some memories that weekend.

One of Marley’s main passions is theatre.  She loves to get in costume and entertain others.  4-H allowed her to have many new and exciting experiences and she hopes to continue her 4-H career as summer camp staff in the future.  Marley, congratulations on your early graduation and we are proud to call you a Florida 4-H Alumni!  Don’t forget, that you can always continue your 4-H journey as a volunteer or 4-H Collegiate Member!


Graduating Senior: Lawson Mathis

Graduating Senior: Lawson Mathis

Youth posing for portrait

Lawson, Santa Rosa Co Senior 4-H Member

Lawson Mathis joined Santa Rosa County 4-H because her cousin, Amanda, had been a 4-H member for years.  Lawson’s first experience was a state-wide 4-H event known as 4-H University, held in Gainesville,Florida.  She remembers having a broken toe prior to her trip and not knowing anyone but Amanda.  Amanda and Trent, another Santa Rosa County 4-H member, had to help her get around Gainesville all week.  As Lawson recalls, “they never left me behind either!”

Beginning her 4-H experience at such a significant, week-long event, Lawson could have easily been overwhelmed.  Instead, she thrived.  Lawson dived into the 4-H program and learned all it had to offer that week.  Lawson has been in 4-H ever since moving to Santa Rosa County her freshman year of high school.

“Throughout my entire time in 4-H, no one left me out or left me behind for anything.  I have made so many friends and great memories along the way, and I hope I can continue to do so in the future.”

Lawson always been part of the 4-H family.  She served every year as a camp counselor at 4-H Camp Timpoochee and made sure that the same attitude of inclusion continued with her campers.  Because of 4-H, she has made friends from all over the state as well. She has a caring and giving nature that will be hard to replace.  Lawson will be attending Troy University in the fall and majoring in nursing and minoring in American Sign Language.  She plans to be a nurse anesthetist upon graduating with her master’s degree.

To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, organizational skills, and goal setting, to your children or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.

*Please note Lawson’s pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we remind people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.*

Graduating Senior:  Madison Fendley

Graduating Senior: Madison Fendley

Youth standing in front of livestock trailer and display of ward ribbons.

Madison standing in front of some of her award-winning efforts in 4-H

Madison Fendley joined Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2010 at the age of eight.  In the beginning, her passion was showing rabbits and chickens.  As she grew up, her interest in raising livestock grew as well.  After raising show-quality dairy goats for many years, Madison had been in the show ring numerous times.  With this experience, Madison shared her knowledge with youth that were new to showing livestock.  She could always be seen in the show prep area, working with youth that were inexperienced and nervous.  Madison became one of Santa Rosa County 4-H’s best mentors for youth, new to the showing world.

Madison has learned a lot about hard work and dedication through her 4-H goat project.  Thinking back, Madison stated, “I feel accomplished for growing my goat herd from just a few brush goats when I started over ten years ago to nearly a completely registered show quality herd now.”  She said she always enjoyed helping grow the goat show at the Santa Rosa County Fair and helping teach other youth about showing goats.

“I’ve loved working with the younger kids in our club and watching everyone grow and branch out.”

Youth hugging her livestock project

Madison and her livestock project

Madison has made a difference in the Santa Rosa County 4-H program.  Many 4-H day camps had the opportunity to utilize Madison’s leadership skills as she served as a counselor. She has worked very hard while raising livestock and even received Reserve Champion Steer at the Santa Rosa County Fair.  She has also received Grand Champion Homegrown Heifer two years in a row.  Madison recalls, “4-H has been an excellent opportunity to learn leadership and step out of my comfort zone sometimes. I would say I’ve come a long way since I first joined from showing chickens and rabbits to goats and now cattle.”  When asked about her biggest lesson she has learned from 4-H, Madison replied, “I’d say one of my biggest accomplishments in 4-H, that nearly brought me to tears, was placing 1st in Steer Showmanship at the fair because it was the first year I showed cattle and the first show I’d been in with that steer.”

Madison plans to attend the University of West Florida and complete her Associate in Arts degree.  She will pursue a degree in an agricultural or animal science-related field. Madison, we thank you for your many years of service to Santa Rosa County 4-H and the Santa Rosa County Fair & Youth Livestock programs.  We

To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, organizational skills, and goal setting, to your children or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.

*Please note Madison’s pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we encourage people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.*

Graduating Senior: Haley Coons

Graduating Senior: Haley Coons

Youth leaning against lightpole

Haley Coons, 4-H Graduating Senior

Haley Coons joined Santa Rosa County 4-H her freshman year of high school as a quiet and shy young lady.  Little did she realize she would hit the ground running after attending her first state event, 4-H Legislature.As a 13-year-old young lady, Haley found herself in Tallahassee with 350 other 4-H youth from around the state of Florida.  She was overwhelmed with all that was going on.  She was able to lean on one of her friends, Jordan, during the busy week and was able to learn the ropes from 4-H members who had experienced the fast pace, encompassing program.

“4-H brought out the best in me and was a big part in making me who I am today!”

As a graduating senior, Haley is a confident, well-spoken, and determined young lady.  She remembers her time in 4-H and how many new friends she has made.  Haley said, “The people I have met in 4-H have been like family to me and have impacted me in a significant way by showing me what it means to have a 4-H family.”  Haley’s family includes people from all over Florida 4-H.  Haley improved her leadership and mentoring skills to a professional level while serving as a Camp Counselor at 4-H Camp Timpoochee.

Haley has utilized the skills in 4-H to accomplish many goals already.  She has been a dual-enrollment student and will be graduating with her Associates in Arts degree this fall at Pensacola State College.  She will then attend the University of West Florida to obtain her Bachelors’s degree.  She is undecided on her major at this point.  Haley, we are very proud of the wonderful young woman you have become!  Congratulations on your graduation and the many accomplishments you have already achieved!

To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer your child essential life skills, support and guidance from positive adult role models, and educational activities in which they can learn and grow, or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.

*Please note Haley’s picture was taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we encourage people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.”