Outstanding Michigan 4-H alumni, volunteers, youth, staff and partners recognized at 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration

Awards presented at the event are among some of Michigan 4-H’s highest honors.

Twelve individuals standing in front of MSU Extension Michigan 4-H signage.
2022 Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductees. From left to right: Jon Hausserman; Sarah Pion; Rachael Ramirez; Karen Kolberg Kietzer; Gail Frahm; Diane Liepe; Janel Horrocks-Boehmer; Schawna Thoma; Alice Kempf; Melissa Souva; Mary Yeomans; and Larry Gould.

Outstanding Michigan 4-H alumni, volunteers, youth, staff and partners were recognized Sept. 30 during the 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration in East Lansing. Awards presented at the event, which was hosted by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Foundation, are among some of Michigan 4-H’s highest honors for adults.

“It was great to come together to celebrate the remarkable individuals that make up our 4-H community,” said Julie Chapin, state 4-H leader for Michigan and director of MSU Extension’s children and youth programs. “There is a rich history of 4-H in our state and there is a lot to celebrate, from our current youth to our outstanding alumni, and from our dedicated volunteers to our commendable partners.”

The 4-H Citation Awards, the highest recognition presented by Michigan 4-H, recognizes significant contributions to Michigan 4-H programs. This year, the honor was awarded to the Michigan Community Service Commission and to Michael and Winifred Tate.

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4-H Citation Award winner Winifred Tate (second from left) with Abbey Miller, Michigan 4-H Foundation director (far left), Jodi Schulz, interim associate state 4-H leader (second from right), and Matt Shane, MSU Extension associate director (far right). The Michigan Community Service Commission was not able to attend the event.

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors Michigan 4-H alumni whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership. Inducted into the 2022 class were Gail R. Frahm, Saginaw; Larry J. Gould, Morenci; Jon D. Hausserman, Fenwick; L. Janel Horrocks-Boehmer, Williamston; Alice A. Kempf, Holton; Karen Kolberg Kietzer, Stevensville; Dian M. Liepe, Pullman; Sarah J. Pion, Cassopolis; Rachael N. Ramirez, Birch Run; Melissa A. Souva, Bronson; Schawna M. Thoma, Anchorage, Alaska; and Mary J. Yeomans, Midland.

The 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards honor remarkable 4-H volunteers who have contributed substantially to both their county and state 4-H programs. This year, the 2023 Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award was presented to Michelle (Anders) McNamara of St. Joseph County and the 2023 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Kim Wright of Dickinson County.

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4-H Salute to Excellence winner Michelle (Anders) McNamara (second from left), with Julie Chapin, state 4-H leader (far left), Abbey Miller, Michigan 4-H Foundation director (second from right), and Matt Shane, MSU Extension director (far right). Kim Wright was not able to attend the event.

The Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Awards, which recognize 4-H volunteers who exhibit excellence in 4-H youth education and leadership in agriculture-related areas, were presented in 2023 to Katheryn Bell of Oakland County, Marie Curell of Lapeer County, Melissa Barnett LaForest of Wayne County and Dione M. Oliver of Alpena County.

Also recognized at the event were the award honorees from 2019 through 2022. In 2022, honorees were David Cox of Jackson County, Vicki Rau of Ogemaw County, and Karen Scovill of Shiawassee County. In 2021, honorees were Dave Galer of Macomb County and Madaline Knight of Muskegon County. In 2020, honorees were Stacy Hough of Mecosta County and Cristie M. Warren of Washtenaw County. In 2019, honorees were Beth Clark of Shiawassee County, the late Vera Kempf of Newaygo County and Andrew Walker of Ogemaw County.

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Michigan Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture Award winners in attendance at the event. From left: Andrew Walker, Katheryn Bell, Marie Curell, Dione Oliver, Matt Kempf (accepting on behalf of Vera Kempf), and Karen Scovill.

Fifty-year 4-H volunteers from 2021, 2022 and 2023 were recognized at the event, as well as winners of the 2023 MSU 4-H Scholarships and an MSU Extension 4-H staff member retiring in 2023.

“We’re grateful to continue this strong partnership of recognizing Michigan’s outstanding 4-H community through a day of celebration and camaraderie,” said Abbey Miller, director of the Michigan 4-H Foundation. “It’s always enjoyable to salute our honorees alongside our 4-H friends and family.”

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Fifty-year 4-H volunteer honorees in attendance at the event.
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MSU 4-H Scholarship winners in attendance at the event.
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MSU Extension 4-H retiree in 2023, Jean Kreiner (center), with State 4-H Leader Julie Chapin (left) and Interim Associate State 4-H Leader Jodi Schulz (right).

The Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration was hosted and emceed by MSU Extension Associate Director Matt Shane, a Kent County 4-H alumnus and 2014 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductee. To learn more about previous honorees in these award categories, visit https://mi4hfdtn.org/4-h-emerald-awards/.

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