Shining a Light on the Electric Hank Lute

Hank Lute may be young, but the knowledge he’s gained from his 4-H experiences and 4 generations of family dedication make him wise and accomplished beyond his 13 years. An 8th grader at Dover Middle School and a black belt in Olympic Tae Kwon Do, Hank’s specialty is electricity and his projects are always certain to energize the fair!

An Expert Electrician

Hank found his passion for electricity alongside his Papa Jeff, a retired electrician. Under his papa’s guidance, he learned the intricacies of the trade. When it was time for Hank to move from Cloverbud to 4-H, Electricity 1 was the perfect fit and then it was time for him to shine.

Hank and Papa Jeff

In Hank’s first year as a 4-H’er, he earned first place in the county with his Magic of Electricity project. He went on to participate in the Ohio State Fair representing Tuscarawas County. He was only 8 years old competing against kids from all over Ohio. He took an Outstanding of the Day award which means he scored in the top 20% of the State. 

Hank took electricity projects for the next four years and earned first in the county every time. His projects were Magic of Electricity, Investigating Electricity,Wired for Power, and Entering Electronics. This year , Hank’s projects are Rockets Away – bottle rockets  and Ready, Set .. Mow! The State Fair is July 29th for both projects. 

A Clock Trophy and Electrical Code

Hank’s favorite Fair memory is from the Ohio State Fair when he won the Clock Trophy. During the interview process, Hank pointed out an error in the project book to the judge: It wasn’t up to the current Electrical Code.  Hank’s parents  couldn’t figure out why the judge was taking pictures of Hank’s book, but he later explained it was because the judge needed the photo so they could correct the book for next year. His parents just chuckled knowing that Hank is confident enough in his knowledge to point out something that is wrong and needs corrected.  4-H gave him the skills to express it. Hank’s Clock Trophy is tucked away in a safe place, but the pride of the moment will always be with him. 

Family Support and Tradition

While Hank is confident and accomplished, he knows the role his support system has played in his success. Hank says,

“My dad and my PaPa have helped me with all of my projects. They spend a lot of time with me in the garage and at the dining room table working on my project books. Both of my parents are advisors for our Club, so they make sure we are at every meeting. My dad is even in charge of recreation for our meetings, so we play a lot of games outside.”

Hank’s mom, Deidra, was in 4-H  for 11 years and Deidra’s parents, Jeff and Joanne Dudgeon, were in 4-H in the 1960s and 1970s. Joanne took sewing projects and was in the Uhrichsville Cut and Cook club. Jeff belonged to the Future Farmers of Union Township and took Electricity, Woodworking, and Beekeeping. Hank’s great-grandmother was even in 4-H in the 1950s! She won first in Harrison County and then competed in the state fair with her sewing project.

Hank also doesn’t want his sister, Clara, who is just as accomplished, to be overlooked. She’s taken woodworking and cake decorating projects, earning 1st in County and Outstanding of the Day at the Ohio State Fair. Hank and Clara both love the fairs and the 4-H program.

Hank and his sister Clara

Fun, Family, and Ice Cream

Hanks wants people to know 4-H is an irreplaceable staple to our community youth. It gives kids a place to be themselves, explore their interests, “hands-on” skills, and be encouraged by a great group of advisors, mentors, educators, parents and friends. 

This year at the Tuscarawas County Fair, you can find Hank working at the fair booth and helping to set up the barns. When he is not working, he and Clara will check out how much the largest pumpkin weighed and how tall the tallest sunflower grew. They will walk around the fair and look at all the other 4-H booths projects and fellow 4-H members’ accomplishments.  Hank and his dad usually attend the tractor pulls and walk through the pits. 

A highlight for the entire Lute family will be ice cream cones from the dairy producers, and of course, enjoying the fun created by everyone’s hard work over the past year. For Hank and his family, 4-H and the fair is a culmination of 4 generations of hard work, knowledge, and dedication. Hank’s success is not shocking, and it’s clear that this young man’s future is very, very bright.

Clara, Hank, Deidra, and Garry Lute

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