Pion named outstanding 4-H alumna

Ingham County 4-H alumna Sarah J. Pion, of Cassopolis, was among 12 4-H alumni inducted into the 2022 class of the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society at a ceremony on Sept. 30.

Ingham County 4-H alumna Sarah J. Pion, of Cassopolis, is among 12 4-H alumni inducted into the 2022 class of the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society. Pion was recognized on Sept. 30, during the Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration hosted by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Foundation 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. 

Pion has been the southwest regional manager for Michigan Farm Bureau for 20 years. In this role, Pion acts as the liaison between Michigan Farm Bureau and the Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren County Farm Bureau chapters. She helps the county chapters increase their membership numbers and volunteer engagement, expand their leadership teams, and implement Farm Bureau policies and programs. Before joining Michigan Farm Bureau, Pion spent a year as an MSU Extension swine agent. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from MSU and was a member of the collegiate livestock judging team in 1998. While working on a master’s degree in animal science and swine nutrition from North Carolina State University, Pion was recognized with the Graduate Student Outstanding Teaching Award.  

“My involvement in 4-H has shaped me as a person and a member of my community,” said Pion. “My time as a 4-H member taught me responsibility, how to stay committed and follow through on any task I started, [and] to honor my commitments in a positive and high-quality manner. 4-H showed me the importance of volunteering my time and how to make a difference in my community.” 

Pion spent 10 years as an active Ingham County 4-H member and later became a Cass County adult 4-H volunteer. She served for nine years as the Cass County Fair livestock judging contest coordinator, and for one year as the coach of the Cass County 4-H livestock judging team. 

Pion has also volunteered for the Edwardsburg Public School’s Parent Teacher Organization, the Edwardsburg High School Athletic Boosters and varsity softball program, the Granger Community Church, the Edwardsburg Relay for Life, the Centreville FFA Advisory Council, and the Albion College softball program. She is a 21-year member of the Cass County Farm Bureau chapter, has been a certified association executive for 13 years, and is a member of and show volunteer for the Cass County Draft Horse Club. 

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. Also inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2022 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; Rachael N. Ramirez, Birch Run; Melissa A. Souva, Bronson; Schawna M. Thoma, Anchorage, Alaska; and Mary J. Yeomans, Midland.

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 www.mi4hfdtn.org/ecs. 

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 www.mi4hfdtn.org. Michigan 4-H Youth Development is the youth-serving program of MSU Extension. Nearly 100,000 youth are involved in 4-H with the support of 9,000 adult volunteers. For more information about Michigan 4-H, visit www.4h.msue.msu.edu.

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