Emmet County 4-H Program Coordinator Inducted into MAFE Hall of Fame

Diane Brazier has participated in the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair for more than 40 years and was recently recognized for her long commitment and service to the fair by being inducted into the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions Hall of Fame.

Diane Brazier (second from right) receiving her award. Also pictured are Cinda Karlik, Mich. Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development liaison, LC Scramlin, MAFE Awards Committee, and Ric Crawford, MAFE President. Photo credit: MAFE and Bruce Doll.

Diane Brazier (second from right) receiving her award. Also pictured are Cinda Karlik, Mich. Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development liaison, LC Scramlin, MAFE Awards Committee, and Ric Crawford, MAFE President. Photo credit: MAFE and Bruce Doll.

Diane Brazier has participated in the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair for more than 40 years, first as a 4-H member and then as a 4-H program coordinator for Michigan State University Extension in Emmet County. In recognition of this long commitment and service to the fair, Brazier was inducted into the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (MAFE) Hall of Fame January 15.

Brazier, a native of northern Michigan, first took part in the fair in 1973 as a member of the Emmet County 4-H program. During her time in 4-H, Brazier was involved in gardening, knitting, community service and teen leadership projects. Later Brazier increased her involvement in the fair by becoming the only female member of the Emmet-Charlevoix County Market Livestock Association, where she served for nearly 10 years. Brazier’s work with the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair further expanded in 1984 when she took on her current role as Emmet County’s 4-H program coordinator. Since then, Brazier has been working closely with the fair to provide local 4-H youth with an opportunity to showcase their talents and hard work at the event.

“Diane’s dedication to the county program and the youth that she works with is outstanding,” said Agnes Shaw, Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair Board president, who nominated Brazier for the award. Launched in 2015, the MAFE Hall of Fame recognizes service rendered to fairs and festivals by individuals who have devoted their time and talents for 20 years or more.  “She has made a significant impact on the county program and in the community over the past 31 years and has positively impacted more than 5,000 4-H members in Emmet County.”

When asked about the 30-year history of working with 4-H’ers through her role with MSU Extension, Brazier commented that her favorite part was seeing the youth develop.

“The most rewarding part of the job is seeing the kids grow during their involvement in the program and then continue to grow as adults and community members,” Brazier said. “I have many stories of youth who went on to serve in leadership roles in college and returned to their community as teachers or veterinarians, or gone on to travel the world! I also have many 4-H alumni who have become adult volunteers in the program because they enjoyed being in 4-H as members. It is just terrific!”

 Brazier credits these alumni volunteers and other caring adults who give their time to the program as a big part of her success and longevity as Emmet County 4-H program coordinator.

“I am fortunate to have the flexibility provided through 4-H to have a local program designed and supported by area volunteers, along with the network of staff around the state who are only a phone call away,” she said.

This network of support is critical not just to the county 4-H program but to the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair as well.

“We have over 50 wonderful volunteers who work hard and make fair week a pleasure,” Brazier said. “The county also has the support of one of the best fair boards around. These volunteers are committed to their roles, love the kids and enjoy the fair as much as I do.”

Together, the volunteers, fair board, youth and Brazier have been providing quality experiences for youth participating in the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair for 31 years. To learn more about Michigan 4-H and activities that Brazier coordinates, visit the Michigan 4-H website.

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