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K-State Research and Extension News

Bartholomew honored with 2016 4-H Distinguished Service Award

Hutchinson man teaches youth firearms and life lessons.

Ray Bartholomew Photo and caption available

Released: July 11, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For Ray Bartholomew it is seeing the “I got it” moment on a young person’s face that keeps him involved. The Hutchinson man was honored with a 4-H Distinguished Service Award for his work with the Kansas 4-H Shooting Sports Program. The award was given at the annual Emerald Circle Banquet held recently in Manhattan.

“This distinguished service award is a special honor that our department gives to an individual who has contributed to 4-H across the state and to moving the 4-H program forward,” said Pam Van Horn, K-State Research and Extension 4-H specialist. “This can be a volunteer, someone we work closely with on campus, or a special donor.”

“Ray has been a constant and strong volunteer on the Shooting Sports Committee,” said James Eberwein, a volunteer who serves as a Kansas 4-H Lead Shotgun Instructor. “He has kept safety and education as his number one focus while striving to keep our program in the highest standard.”

Bartholomew has been involved with 4-H from an early age. He eventually served as a 4-H leader. His own children were involved in 4-H as well.

However, Bartholomew’s involvement changed when his son wanted to do shooting sports through 4-H, as he could not participate in the program without a county coordinator.

“I said 'yes' and I’ve been saying yes quite a few times since then,” Bartholomew said. “About 10 years ago I said yes to becoming the state volunteer coordinator for 4-H shooting sports.”

For Bartholomew the ultimate achievement of participation is the individual youth. His reasoning behind that is the education that participating in shooting sports provides the youth. The program teaches firearm safety and other skills to 3,516 young people across the state every year that may not otherwise have the resources.

“It is extremely rewarding to see the numbers and the volume of other volunteers as well as the youth involved in the program today,” Bartholomew said. “I believe the project is going to continue to gain momentum- we are not at our peak yet.” The program currently is comprised of eight disciplines and ranks third among youth enrollment for all youth projects through Kansas 4-H. Many attribute the program’s success to Bartholomew.

“One of my favorite interactions with the youth is when we use the BB gun and taking a young person who has maybe handled the equipment before or who has but hasn’t handled it correctly or at the level where they can get BBs to hit the target in the pattern,” Bartholomew said. “Seeing the accomplishment of that youth getting started and them accomplishing the skill set.”

Van Horn added that Bartholomew has shared with her that he loves seeing the “I got it moment” where the child comprehends the skill and he knows they are feeling confident in themselves.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by:
Connor Orrock
K-State Research and Extension

For more information:
Pam Van Horn –pvanhorn@ksu.edu or 785-532-5800