Keinath honored as outstanding 4-H agriculture volunteer

Diane Keinath of Saginaw County was among four Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recipients.

Diane Keinath headshot.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Diane Keinath of Saginaw 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 4-H volunteer training, to buy supplies or curriculum, or to enhance local or statewide 4-H programming.

Keinath is a major proponent of the Saginaw County 4-H livestock program. In her role as a club volunteer leader, she shares her experiences and teaches young people through hands-on workshops. Keinath works diligently to help 4-H members expand their knowledge of agriculture and produce the best possible project animals while also learning life and personal skills. With her guidance and encouragement, eight members of her 4-H club have pursued degrees in agriculture. Six are currently employed in the agriculture industry.

“My greatest reward as a 4-H leader is seeing the positive impact that I have made on young people’s lives,” said Keinath. “While I specialize in large livestock, there are so many other important life skills that I am able to teach along the way, such as honesty, sportsmanship, fair play and compassion for other exhibitors who might be having a tough day. I also take the opportunity to teach the kids community service and giving back to causes that have helped them throughout their 4-H years.”

Growing up, Keinath was an avid 4-H’er herself, showing livestock and building her leadership skills. Today, she and her husband own and operate a 400-acre farm where they produce corn, soybeans, wheat and beef, and run a cattle transportation company. The Keinaths employ many 4-H’ers in their businesses to help fuel the young people’s passion for agriculture.

Keinath 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 Mary Hutka of Oakland 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 the Michigan Farm Bureau. To learn more about the 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award and the award winners, 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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