The 2014 Callaway County Youth Expo kicked off Wednesday morning featuring some of the best and brightest young Callawegians the annual pageant.
Children and teenagers were divided in four categories based on age, interviewed, then gave timed speeches on the topic of 4-H.
Reflecting on all the contestants, Judge Christine Kleindienst said she felt they are upcoming leaders in Callaway County.
"I think Callaway County is lucky, blessed to have such talented kids," she said.
Judge Megan Bell agreed with Kleindienst, adding that she observed confidence in the young agriculture enthusiasts.
"They really portrayed what 4-H does for them as a leader," Bell said.
King and queen candidates gave three-to-five minute speeches on how 4-H has made them better leaders.
Alyssa Reid, Fulton FFA reporter, said she's been involved in 4-H for eight years, holding the position of president, treasurer and reporter in various 4H clubs.
Being a 4-H member, she said, has allowed her to use the 4 Hs: head, heart, hands and health. She gave an example for each. For heart, she talked about offering her show pig to a young girl whose pig wasn't cooperating at the 2013 Callaway County Youth Expo. The young girl accepted her offer and expressed her thanks in a card.
"I was so glad I made an impact on that little girl without even realizing it," Reid said. "4-H has made me such a leader that I can put others before myself without even thinking about it."
King winner Michael Tillitt, Hardin Hustlers member, said 4-H teaches its members trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring for others, responsibility and importance of good citizenship. He dove into a deeper meaning for the characteristics.
"Being a good citizen includes making the whole community and county a better place to live for myself and others," Tillitt said.
Brother and sister duo Joseph and Hannah Raley of South Callaway talked about their favorite projects in their speeches.
Of her three topic areas - cake decorating, exploring 4-H and arts and crafts, cake decorating was her favorite. She baked and decorated a cake of Felix the Cat's face with the feline's name in fondant. Hannah discussed using teamwork to complete the project.
"Everyone in my group was nice and helped each other," she said.
Joseph Raley was a fan of his archery project.
"I talked about a favorite project - archery - and how I liked learning about the bow and arrow, shooting targets and I really liked meeting other people and being active," he said.