UACES Facebook Washington County teen wins Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award
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July 31, 2020

Washington County teen wins Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast facts:

  • Isabella Norsworthy honored with Arkansas 4-H’s highest honor
  • Winner receives $1,000 scholarship
  • Recipient to study horticulture at U of A this fall 

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LITTLE ROCK — Isabella Norsworthy of West Fork has had many successes throughout her 12 years in Arkansas 4-H, from winning prizes for showing livestock to excelling in horticulture competitions. On Thursday, Norsworthy learned she had won the Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award, the highest honor an Arkansas 4-H member can receive.

TOP AWARD — Isabella Norsworthy, 2020 Arkansas 4-H Governor's Award recipient. (Image courtesy Isabella Norsworthy.)

Gov. Asa Hutchison delivered the news to Norsworthy in a recorded message during the Arkansas 4-H Awards of Excellence ceremony via Facebook Live. The Governor’s Award, started in 1983, is available only to former state 4-H record book winners. Applicants are judged based on their project record books, their application and an interview. The winner receives a $1,000 scholarship. 

This year, three 4-H members were finalists for the top honor: Norsworthy; her sister, Abigail Norsworthy, also of Washington County; and Sarah Gaskin of White County. 

The governor and first lady Susan Hutchinson hosted the three finalists at a lunch at the Governor’s Mansion on July 23, following their morning of interviews with the judges. Hutchinson then gave the young women a tour of the mansion’s vegetable garden and grounds.

In his remarks Thursday, the governor, a former 4-H member, congratulated all three finalists.

“Each of the finalists is a model of growth, resilience, innovation and tenacity,” he said. “Each has given much to 4-H, and today we honor them for their hard work. Their communities are better because of their achievements.” 

Norsworthy, a graduate of Farmington High School, will attend the University of Arkansas where she plans to major in horticulture, a passion she discovered through 4-H and Junior Master Gardeners Club. She credited 4-H with not only helping her find her niche but also helping her develop leadership skills and a love for community service. Through 4-H, she cultivated a garden and donates food to local food banks. She teaches younger 4-Hers how to garden, leads workshops in food preservation and crafts and volunteers at a veterans’ home among many projects.

Abigail Norsworthy’s 4-H projects are also horticulture and gardening. She started the Show Buddies program at the Washington County Fair so that children with special needs could experience a livestock show. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas and major in crop science with a concentration in pre-law. 

Sarah Gaskin of Bald Knob is pursuing an associate of science in agricultural education at Arkansas State University-Beebe and will graduate next year. She has been involved with 4-H for 14 years and previously served as a 4-H state officer. 

“These three finalists represent the best of 4-H in Arkansas,” the governor said. “I’m proud of each one of you.” 

The Governor’s Award scholarship is sponsored by Joel Anderson, with gifts and the luncheon provided by Darlene Millard. 

4-H is the premier youth development program of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. Programs are offered in every county in Arkansas. To learn more about 4-H, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media contact:
Tracy Courage
Director, Communications Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126