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.

2019 Senior 4-H State Award Winners. All photos by Michigan State University Extension.
2019 Senior 4-H State Award Winners. All photos by Michigan State University Extension.

Nearly 100 outstanding Michigan 4-H members gathered on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) June 20, 2019, to celebrate their accomplishments through the Michigan 4-H State Awards Recognition program. During the event, 32 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 Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium, and attended by 4-H State 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,” said Jake Dedecker, 4-H State Leader of MSU Extension, Michigan 4-H programs. “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.”

Hosted by Michigan State University Extension, the awards ceremony was held at the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium. Michigan 4-H State Awards were presented in 20 award categories that showcase the diverse array of 4-H knowledge, skills and experience. Recipients of the 2019 awards are:

  • Beef Science: Riley Wallace of Sanilac County (junior division) and Andy Rambadt of St. Joseph County (senior division).
  • Bird and Poultry Science: Rhea Lyn Waycaster of Washtenaw County (junior division) and Hunter Delahanty of Grand Traverse County (senior division).
  • Civic Engagement: Ella Kritzman of Sanilac County (junior division).
  • Companion Animal Science: Darlene Mattson of Berrien County (senior division).
  • Consumer and Family Science: Devyn Lusardi of Menominee County (junior division).
  • Dairy Science: Irene Nielson of Ingham County (junior division) and Miriam Cook or Clinton County (senior division).
  • Environmental and Earth Science: Amanda Towne of Van Buren County (senior division).
  • Equine Science: Cody Skinner of Mecosta County (junior division) and Carley Bullinger of Ingham County (senior division).
  • Food, Nutrition, Health Fitness: Jaydyn Lusardi of Menominee County (junior division) and Abby McNamara of St. Joseph County (senior division).
  • Gardening and Horticulture: Parker Johnson of Menominee County (junior division).
  • Goat Science: Bryant Janetzke of Ionia County (junior division) and Jacie King of St. Joseph County (senior division).
  • Leadership and Service: Micaela Gerborkoff of Houghton County (junior division) and Grace Schmidt of Livingston County (senior division).
  • Personal Development and Workforce Development: Khamani Potts of Oakland County (Junior Division)
  • Rabbit and Cavy Science: Gwyneth Glombowski of St. Clair County (junior division) and Sydney Gladding of Kent County (senior division).
  • Sheep Science: Emma Tebo of Menominee County (junior division) and R. Levi Couch of Monroe County (senior division).
  • Shooting Sports: Justin Yarger of Monroe County (junior division) and Katherine Erickson of Dickinson County (senior division).
  • STEM: Alexis Fisher of Monroe County (junior division) and Joel Basar of Washtenaw County (senior division)
  • Swine Science: Rachel Eggleston of St. Joseph County (junior division) and Emily Mead of St. Joseph County (senior division).
  • Visual, Performing and Expressive Arts: Blake Towne of Van Buren County (junior division) and Brittany Perry of Kent County (senior division).
  • Group Award: North Branch Finish Line Swine Club; Natasha Bickel, Isaac Conley, Ian Conley and Jonah Haskins of Lapeer County.
Senior 4-H State Award Winners
Group 4-H State Award Winners

Michigan 4-H State Awards Program is open to 4-H members who 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) and groups, in which their skills and experience are further evaluated, or a vigorous leadership program for junior delegates (ages 13-15).

“4-H is focused on building skills and providing learning opportunities,” DeDecker said. “Even the application process and interviews for State 4-H Awards was developed to prepare youth for college and the workforce. It is a significant and rewarding process for youth and we are grateful to acknowledge their achievements 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:  Allegan County 4-H Youth Council, Battle Creek Kennel Club, Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association, Branch County 4-H Leaders' Council, Calhoun County 4-H Council, Donald and Jane Sisung, Harry & Sharon Pratley, Howard Zindel Memorial Endowment Fund, Ingham County 4-H Council, James and Donna Shoup, Jim and Mary Yeomans, Kent County 4-H Council, Lapeer County 4-H Council, Menominee County 4-H Foundation, Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, Michigan Pork ProducersMichigan Rabbit Breeders Association, Michigan Sheep Producers Association, Monroe County 4-H Council, Osceola County 4-H Council, Reyes Adent Family Foundation, Richard J. and Mary Ann Sullivan Dunn Memorial Endowment Fund, Sanilac County 4-H Council, Shiawassee County 4-H Council, Sr., Shoup Weldon Creek Farms, Thomas H. Cobb Shooting Sports Fund, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Van Buren County 4-H Leaders AssociationWashtenaw County Livestock and Dairy Committee

To learn more about Michigan 4-H Youth Development, contact your local MSU Extension office or visit the Michigan 4-H website.

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