Nugent named outstanding 4-H alumnus

Kent County 4-H alumnus Thomas L. Nugent, of Clarksville, is among eight 4-H alumni inducted into the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society in 2018.

Tom Nugent headshot.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Kent County 4-H alumnus Thomas L. Nugent, of Clarksville, is among eight 4-H alumni inducted into the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society in 2018. Nugent was recognized on Oct. 5 during the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony in East Lansing.

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors former Michigan 4-H members whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership – extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

Nugent is a true supporter of agriculture and youth development. His 10-year 4-H career set him up for success as a professional, completing two degrees from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1992 – one in food systems, economics and management, and the other in agricultural and natural resources communications. In 2011, he earned an MBA from Western Michigan University. After a short career in agribusiness, he returned to Michigan to serve as a regional representative for Michigan Farm Bureau. He went on to work with county Farm Bureau communication committees and county newsletters before becoming the manager of member services for the organization. Later, Nugent served 16 years as director of field operations and today is the director of human resources. Outside of his professional career, Nugent has served as president of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association and on MSU’s Michigan Dairy Memorial Scholarship Fund board of directors.

“4-H provided a strong backbone of support for me as a young farm kid growing up in Kent County,” said Nugent. “Through 4-H, I developed friendships and a strong and vibrant network of people I continue to work with today. As my kids grew up, I knew they should have the same experience, so I became a 4-H leader to pay it forward to the next generation. 4-H truly contributed to my success both professionally and personally.”

As a Kent County 4-H’er, Nugent was a member of the 1988 winning State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Team, and a royal ambassador for the Kent County Youth Fair. He also competed at the World Dairy Expo with the state 4-H Dairy Judging Team. Nugent competed in the dairy and dairy beef project areas for 10 years before going on to compete in collegiate dairy judging at MSU. Today, he is the founder and coleader of the Milky Way 4-H Club in Kent County, the team coach for the Kent County Dairy Quiz Bowl team, and assistant for the county dairy calf program.

The 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony was hosted and emceed by State Sen. Judy Emmons, a Montcalm County 4-H alumna and 2014 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductee. Also inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2018 were: Darwin Booher, Evart; Domonique Clemons, Flint; Ronald Hendrick, East Lansing; Barbara Haynes Heyboer, Hudsonville; W. G. (Mac) McPherson, Lowell; Maggie Sans, Clarkston; and Gretna Van Fleet, Frankenmuth.

Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society members are inducted every two years. The inaugural class of 62 members was inducted in 2002 to coincide with the national 4-H centennial. For more information on the 4 H Emerald Clover Society and its members, 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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