Missouri 4-H public speaking contest lets youths shine

  • Published: Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

COLUMBIA, Mo. – On Sept. 24, youths from across Missouri participated in one of Missouri 4-H’s oldest and most popular competitions, the 4-H State Public Speaking Contest. Held on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, the competition drew 52 youths from 24 counties.

The 4-H’ers worked hard all year to prepare for this annual culminating experience that allows them to showcase their skills to a panel of judges, said Erin Stanley, MU Extension state 4-H civic engagement educator.

“Public speaking is a skill that many find nerve-wracking,” Stanley said. “However, these youth knocked it out of the park!”

4-H youths begin at a young age to learn to speak in front of others by giving age-appropriate demonstrations to their peers and then participating in conference judging for their projects, she said. “These youths are extremely talented.”

Awards went to the top competitors in each category and age division.

  • Junior Business Pitch: Brooklyn Bergsieker, Lafayette County, first place.
  • Intermediate Extemporaneous: Asher Ahrens, Cape Girardeau County, first place; Katlyn Miller, Warren County, second place; Lea Simmons, Putnam County, third place.
  • Senior Extemporaneous: Andrew Shelton, Barton County, first place; Sara Tuschhoff, Gasconade County, second place.
  • Junior Humorous Interpretation: Bailey Middleton, Monroe County, first place.
  • Intermediate Humorous Interpretation: Joy Krueth, Barton County, first place; Marah Greiman, Marion County, second place.
  • Intermediate Dramatic Interpretation: Kaycie Hollrah, St. Charles County, first place; Mackenzie Hill, Clay County, second place.
  • Senior Dramatic Interpretation: Ayla Foreman, Christian County, first place.
  • Junior Technology Assisted: Molly Wright, Clay County, first place; Mary Wright, Clay County, second place; Kinsey Heisey, Caldwell County, third place.
  • Intermediate Technology Assisted: Grant Owen, Carroll County, first place; Charles Goodnight, Greene County, second place; Jacey Heisey, Caldwell County, third place.
  • Senior Technology Assisted: Ashton Roe, Clinton County, first place; Taya Lenz, Clinton County, second place.
  • Junior Prepared Speech: Makenna Stephens, Lafayette County, first place; Sullivan Holder, Clinton County, second place; Malachi Siebert, Jasper County, third place.
  • Intermediate Prepared Speech: Mallory Hall, Johnson County, first place; Brody Phillips, Lafayette County, second place; Makayla Roe, Clinton County, third place.
  • Senior Prepared Speech: Katelyn Wright, Clay County, first place; Isabella Hamner, Camden County, second place; Reagan O’Farrell, Bates County, third place.

4-H Civic Engagement

Programs offered by Missouri 4-H would not be possible without support from our partners. Major support for Missouri 4-H Civic Engagement programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives; FCS Financial; the Miller Family Foundation; the Missouri Pork Association; the Missouri Corn Growers Association; Veterans United Foundation; Aaron and Erica Baker; Mary Davis; Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog, D.V.M.; the Martz family; Dr. Marla J. Tobin; and the Turner family.

About Missouri 4-H

More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.


Ayla Foreman, of Christian County, placed first in the senior age division in the Dramatic Interpretation category for her speech on Dolly Parton’s song “Coat of Many Colors” at the 2022 Missouri 4-H State Public Speaking Contest on the MU campus in Columbia.

Media Contact

Sherry Grace

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