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Bruce Peck 4-H Award: Learning by Doing

Martha Peck
Sedalia, Colo.

My husband, Bruce Peck, grew up in 4-H, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. He loved the kids and their animals. Our kids were in 4-H until they grew too old. Did that stop him from going to fair? No way! He would go after work every evening.

There was usually at least one 4-H’er he had helped with their livestock project ” whether beef, sheep, swine, chickens or rabbits. He was there to lend a hand, give advice, and help whomever and wherever needed. This year ” 2006 ” he was not there. He was killed in a car wreck in December of 2005. The Douglas County 4-H Foundation established an award in his honor.

The Bruce Peck Memorial Award was established to honor a Douglas County 4-H’er who demonstrated perseverance in the face of obstacles or “bad luck” in his or her chosen livestock or horse project in the current year. The award memorializes Bruce Peck, who used his hands-on knowledge and love of all types of livestock to benefit numerous children with his help and counsel. Mr. Peck epitomized grit, determination, persistence, and learning by doing.

The award consists of a belt buckle and a certificate acknowledging the perseverance, tenacity, determination and pluck demonstrated by the recipient during the current project year. The award is designed to reinforce a positive response to a difficult situation, resulting in learning and personal growth. The 2006 winner of the Bruce Peck Memorial Award is Sara Bontje. She saved her money from babysitting and odd jobs to buy a pig and be able to independently provide for this pig. She diligently took daily care of her pig until one day it got sick, Sara sat at the pen with a large syringe and a cup of Gatorade, trying her best to keep the pig hydrated. The pig died the weekend before Fashion Review, which was 10 days before weigh-in for the fair. Sara needed to swallow hard, finish her cotton jacket for the Fashion Review on Monday, and also finish her record books.

Sara took it upon herself to continue to work with her brothers on their showmanship, and help them with their pigs. This was done with the best of attitudes. She showed her true colors. She persevered through a difficult time, and was able to complete her projects.

Congratulations to Sara for being the first winner of the Bruce Peck award.


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