Michigan 4-H recognizes true leaders with 4-H State Awards

Thirty-one 4-H members honored for their outstanding accomplishments in leadership, service and life skill development.

2017 Michigan 4-H State Award recipients. (Photo by Michigan State University Extension)

2017 Michigan 4-H State Award recipients. (Photo by Michigan State University Extension)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Nearly 100 outstanding Michigan 4-H members gathered on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) June 22 to celebrate their accomplishments through the Michigan 4-H State Awards Recognition program. During the event, 31 youth received Michigan 4-H State Awards, the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H members.

Hosted by Michigan State University Extension, the awards ceremony was held at the Kellogg Center on the campus of MSU and attended by 4-H award delegates, their families, 4-H staff members and volunteers, industry partners, donors and sponsors.

“With more than 200,000 4-H’ers across the state, the youth honored with State Awards are some of our most elite 4-H’ers,” Julie Chapin, director of MSU Extension Michigan 4-H programs, said. “Their commitment to bettering themselves and their communities through service and extensive 4-H work really make them true leaders in their clubs, counties and state.”

Michigan 4-H State Awards are presented in 19 award categories that showcase the diverse array of 4-H knowledge, skills and experience. Recipients of the 2017 awards are:

  • Beef Science: Jaycie Brown of Livingston County (junior division) and Kimberly Schultz of Sanilac County (senior division).
  • Biological Science: Allyssa VanLoo of St. Joseph County (junior division) and Rebecca Herzog of Mecosta County (senior division).
  • Bird and Poultry Science: Savannah Mauk of Eaton County (junior division) and Lacey Burke of Van Buren County (senior division).
  • Civic Engagement: Chevelle Bowles of Eaton County (junior division) and Samantha Beaudrie of Monroe County (senior division).
  • Communications and Expressive Arts: R. Levi Couch of Monroe County (junior division) and Shelby Guarino of Cass County (senior division).
  • Companion Animal Science: Sarah Ouellette of Monroe County (junior division) and Hannah Harless of St. Joseph County (senior division).
  • Consumer and Family Science: Rebecca Halveka of Menominee County (junior division) and Mary Hartges of Menominee County (senior division).
  • Dairy Science: Parker Johnson of Menominee County (junior division).
  • Environmental and Earth Science: Katherine Erickson of Dickinson County (junior division).
  • Equine Science: Madison Rose Walcher of Menominee County (junior division) and Mary Hartmann of Genesee County (senior division).
  • Goat Science: Caysie Ringkvist of Lenawee County (junior division) and MaKayla Beck of Lenawee County (senior division).
  • Healthy Lifestyles: Lauren Verba of Menominee County (junior division) and Rachel Ouellette of Monroe County (senior division).
  • Leadership and Personal Development: Katrina Lomas of Monroe County (junior division) and Elizabeth Stockwell of Cass County (senior division).
  • Rabbit and Cavy Science: Mackenzie Purill of Isabella County (junior division) and Claudia Paddy of Monroe County (senior division).
  • Sheep Science: Hannah Vincent of Monroe County (junior division) and Chase Benham of Lenawee County (senior division).
  • Swine Science: Elizabeth Vincent of Monroe County (junior division) and Heather Dufek of Emmet County (senior division).
  • Technology and Engineering: Tony Guarino of Cass County (junior division).

Michigan 4-H State Awards youth are 13-19 years old with three or more years of 4-H experience. To qualify for the award, 4-H’ers must submit a written application that showcases the learning experiences, knowledge and skills they’ve acquired through their participation in 4-H, as well as their contributions to their local 4-H programs, clubs and communities. Submissions are reviewed by the Michigan 4-H State Awards selection committee. This group of volunteers, staff members and industry experts determine which members are selected as award delegates. Delegates are then invited to participate in one of two additional phases: an interview process for seniors (ages 16-19), in which their skills and experience are further evaluated, or a vigorous leadership program for junior delegates (ages 13-15).

“The process of applying for a State 4-H Award is no small feat,” Chapin said. “These youth spend a lot of time and effort to prepare their applications and complete the required interview or leadership program, which further illustrates their commitment as leaders in Michigan 4-H. We’re grateful to reward their determination with the State 4-H Award honor.”

In addition to a physical award, each 4-H State Award winner in the senior division also receives a $200 cash award; junior winners receive $50 cash awards. These awards are made possible by the generous donations of the Michigan 4-H State Award Recognition program sponsors: the Allegan County 4-H Council, the Battle Creek Kennel Club, the Branch County 4-H Leaders Council, Dale and Sandra Hartwick, the Houghton-Keweenaw 4-H Council, the Ionia County 4-H Advisory Council, the Ionia County 4-H Service Club, the Iosco County 4-H Leaders Council, the Isabella County 4-H Council, the Kent County 4-H Council, the Lapeer County 4-H Council, the Mecosta County 4-H Council, the Menominee County 4-H Foundation, Inc., the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, the Michigan Pork Producers Association, the Michigan Sheep Producers Association, the Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc., the Monroe County 4-H Club Council, the Newaygo County 4-H Council, the Ogemaw County 4-H Council, the Osceola County 4-H Council, the Saginaw County 4-H Leaders Advisory Council, the Sanilac County 4-H Council, the Shiawassee County 4-H Council, Judith S. See, James and Donna Shoup, Sr., Donald and Jane Sisung, the St. Joseph County 4-H Youth Council, the Richard J. and Mary Ann Sullivan Dunn Memorial Endowment Fund, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Van Buren County 4-H Leaders Association, the Washtenaw County 4-H Livestock and Dairy Committee, Deloris A. Williams, James and Mary Yeomans and the Howard Zindel Memorial Endowment Fund.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H and the State Awards program, visit 4h.msue.msu.edu

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