2022 Michigan 4-H State Award winners announced

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

2022 State Award winners.
2022 Michigan 4-H State Award winners.

The Michigan 4-H State Awards Program recognized outstanding 4-H members during the opening session of 4-H Exploration Days on June 22. At the event, honorees had the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with their fellow 4-H Exploration Days participants. 

A Michigan 4-H State Award is the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H members and recognizes a level of excellence in learning, leadership and service. In total, 20 4-H members from 16 counties submitted applications to take part is this year’s program.

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

Michigan 4-H State Awards were presented in 13 of the 19 available award categories that showcase the diverse array of 4-H knowledge, skills, and experience. Recipients of the 2022 awards are:

  • Beef Science: Charlee Klink of Delta County (junior division)
  • Companion Animal Science: Malachi Sims of Shiawassee County (senior division)
  • Dairy Science: Sophia Nielsen of Ingham County (junior division)
  • Environmental Science: Vishal Swamy of Oakland County (junior division)
  • Equine Science: Jayleigh Williams of Lenawee County (junior division)
  • Food, Nutrition, Health Fitness: Rebecca Thomas of Ionia County (senior division)
  • Gardening and Horticulture: Brooke Richards of Macomb County (junior division)
  • Goat Science: Caitlynn Pratt of Otsego County (junior division) and Audrey Martin of Midland County (senior division)
  • Leadership: Alana Aulph of Monroe County (junior division)
  • Rabbit and Cavy Science: Noah Hecht of Saginaw County (junior division) and Alexis Fisher of Monroe County (senior division)
  • Sheep Science: Jadyn Herzog of Allegan County (junior division) and Jaycie Brown of Livingston County (senior division)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Brandon Fisher of Monroe County (junior division) and Blake Towne of Van Buren County (senior division)
  • Visual, Performing and Expressive Arts: Corinna Aulph of Monroe County (junior division)

The 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 finalists. All applicants receive written feedback from selection committees.

Senior delegates (ages 16-19) and groups then complete an interview using video conference technology. Completing a video interview provides an opportunity for 4-H members to practice real-world skills that are trending in the workforce.

“4-H is focused on building skills and providing learning opportunities,” Chapin said. “Even the application process and interviews for 4-H State Awards were 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 plaque, each 4-H State Award winner in the senior division will also receive a $200 cash award; junior winners receive $50 cash awards. These awards are made possible by generous donations to the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

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

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