Hutka honored as outstanding 4-H agriculture volunteer

Mary Hutka of Oakland County was among four Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recipients.

Mary Hutka headshot

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Mary Hutka of Oakland County was among four Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recipients honored on Oct. 5 at the 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony in East Lansing.

The award recognizes the outstanding youth education and leadership development achievements of Michigan 4-H volunteers in the beef cattle; dairy cattle; goats; horses; horticulture, crops and soils; poultry; rabbits; sheep; swine; and veterinary science project areas. Honorees receive $1,000 grants they can use for training, to buy supplies or curriculum, or to enhance local or statewide programming.

Hutka is the longtime volunteer leader and innovator of the Tollgate 4-H Club in Oakland County. She has guided young people in taking on leadership roles while raising vegetables and livestock for market. Hutka is passionate about growing true leaders and empowers young people by allowing them to take ownership of club activities and educating them about agriculture. Many members in the Tollgate 4-H Club have gone on to receive 4-H state awards and county medals and to pursue agriculture-related college degrees.

“I enjoy watching the kids grow and learn,” said Hutka. “The club has kids from varying backgrounds and interests, yet they manage to work together and support each other.”

Hutka was honored at the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony. The event was hosted and emceed by State Sen. Judy Emmons, a Montcalm County 4-H alumna and 2014 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductee. The other 2018 recipients of the 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award are Diane Keinath of Saginaw County and Kathy Grau and Mary Hammer of Washtenaw County.

The award is supported by an endowment with the Michigan 4-H Foundation that was established by Michigan Farm Bureau. To learn more about the 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award and awardees visit

The Michigan 4-H Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that supports Michigan 4-H Youth Development. For more information about the Michigan 4-H Foundation, visit Michigan 4-H Youth Development is the youth-serving program of Michigan State University Extension. More than 209,000 youth are involved in 4-H with the support of 16,000 adult volunteers. For more information about Michigan 4-H, visit

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