June 21, 2000 | By: Aimee D. Heald

Kentucky 4-Hers converged on the University of Kentucky campus for the 75th Senior Conference. It was a year of firsts, with new tracks added to the agenda as well as a community service project.

It was also a time of closure and new beginnings as the 1999-2000 state officers stepped down and handed over the reins to the first officer team of the new millennium.

Tony Stoeppel, who served as last year's 4-H secretary, was chosen to lead Kentucky 4-H as the 2000-2001 president.

"It really is a dream come true," he said. "I got to step in and serve as secretary for awhile this year, but I've always wanted to be elected by the people. Being elected president of Kentucky 4-H is truly unbelievable. I have three great officer teammates that I'm looking forward to working with to help Kentucy 4-H."

Stoeppel is from Harrison County in the Bluegrass area. He currently is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, majoring in mechanical and agricultural engineering.

"The lessons and experiences I have gained through 4-H are irreplaceable," Stoeppel said. "I hope we all can one day look back at these times in life and remember the enriching adventures 4-H gave us."

Jim Winn, Bowling Green Ky., was elected vice president. For secretary, the 4-H delegation elected Jessica Hays, Greenup County, who will be a freshman at Eastern Kentucky University this fall. Elizabeth Hardesty of the Lincoln Trail area was chosen to be treasurer. In a new mass communications track, 4-Hers got to be part of a team that produced a radio show. Some served as producers, others as reporters, to produce a show that was played before the 2000 Fashion Revue.

Conference attendees who enrolled in the shorter six-hour tracks, participated in a community service project on the third day of the conference. Some of the organizations where students volunteered were the UK Senior Citizens Center and the UK Arboretum.

"We've been privileged to get lots of help from community organizations for 4-H," Teresa Boll, Senior Conference coordinator and UK Extension associate in 4-H, said. "With the community service projects, the kids learned about serving the community and giving back to the folks who have supported 4-H for so long."