VIRGINIA BEACH – Reagan Vaughan, a 17-year-old Kellam High School student from a farming family, was recognized this month for her service in 4-H, efforts to expand her family farm and love of educating people about agriculture.
Vaughan was recognized with the Virginia 4-H Youth in Action Award for Agriculture in Richmond earlier this month, a significant award that recognizes her embodiment of one of the pillars of 4-H.
“It was really nice being able to showcase my pride in 4-H and in agriculture,” Vaughan said in an interview.
She wrote essays as part of the awards process, and those have been adapted into a column that can be found at this link. Vaughan said 4-H has been a major part of her life, and her involvement in raising cattle eventually evolved into Coastal Cattle, a family beef operation that includes a retail “shack.”
“It’s given me a multitude of opportunities I never would have had without 4-H,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall, and she wants to return to Virginia Beach to teach.
“I am an aspiring educator,” she said. “I hopefully will be back in Virginia Beach schools. I hope to become a biology teacher. … I want to fill that connection between agriculture and biology within our curriculum. …
“I don’t think I would have the passion I have for biology and the sciences if I didn’t live on a farm. It’s taught me so much about sustainable living and healthy living and a respect for the sciences.”
“I really see an opportunity for her to stand out in the state and across the country in agriculture,” said Sarah Farley, Virginia Beach’s 4-H extension agent.
A number of local 4-H participants traveled to Richmond for 4-H Day at the Capitol, including 66 youth and adult volunteers from several clubs, Farley said.
“These youth had a chance to meet other 4-Hers, meet legislators and tour the Capitol and the governor’s mansion,” Farley said.
This was a chance to practice civic engagement and speak with state leaders, she added.
4-H is a youth development program open to young people who are looking for leadership and life skills, and the program encompasses a number of activities and clubs. Learn more about the program in Virginia Beach online via virginia-beach.ext.vt.edu or follow it on Facebook.