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Area 4-H Members Recognized in Various State Recognition Awards

Iowa 4-H members participated in virtual interviews for the annual State 4-H Recognition Day on March 27. State 4-H Recognition is the process in which senior 4-H members in grades 9-12 can apply to be selected for special statewide opportunities such as awards and trips such as National 4-H Conference, State 4-H Council, Iowa 4-H Reporters Program and Iowa 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors.

State project area awards are awarded to 4-H members who have demonstrated leadership, communication, and service through activities, events, and self-directed learning in a specific project area. Recipients will be provided with a $100 prize (dependent on funding). Up to 50 project area awards will be presented to Iowa 4-H members in grades 9-12 at the time of application.

2021 Local Award Winners

Marli Backhaus, Worth County, Child Development
Tianna Charlson, Worth County, Communication
Rebekah Craighton, Franklin County, Food and Nutrition
Emma Davidson, Worth County, Communication
Britta Elsdernd, Cerro Gordo County, Communication
Aneisha Sritharan, Humboldt County, Leadership

National 4-H Conference is a week-long trip to our nation’s capital each spring. Youth stay at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD with delegates from across the nation. This is a working event where youth will share their perspectives on issues relevant to youth with national leaders, including Congressional members. 5-6 delegates in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected, dependent on funding.

2021 Local Award Winner

Cecelia Hill, Worth County

National 4-H Congress is held the day after the Thanksgiving holiday through the following Tuesday in Atlanta, GA. National 4-H Congress is comparable to the “State 4-H Youth Conference,” but on a national scale. The event includes dynamic keynote speakers, community service in the Atlanta area, workshops on leadership, cultural issues, and team building.  Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Congress event, 10 delegates in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected for 2021, to join 10 of the 2020 delegates who were eligible to postpone their attendance by one year.

2021 Local Award Winners

Marli Backhaus, Worth County
Justine Nelson, Worth County

The State 4-H Council is a group of young people who serve as ambassadors for the Iowa 4-H program. This group of high school students works directly with Iowa 4-H Youth Development staff to represent 4-H across the state. They speak to local 4-H groups, present ideas to staff, and work in committees to plan the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and 4-H members for 4-H campaign. 40 delegates in grades 10-11 at the time of application will be selected.

2021 Local Award Winners

Marli Backhaus, Worth County
Cecelia Hill, Worth County
Teagan Johnson, Worth County
Kendra Kinne, Worth County

The 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Program is designed to promote 4-H Shooting Sports. Youth selected to serve as Ambassadors will receive training to become advocates for the program at the county, regional, and state levels. Through the program, Ambassadors develop skills in leadership, public presentation, civic engagement, community service, public relations, and team building.  Up to 2 awardees may also be selected to participate in National 4-H SESS Teen Institute. Up to 9 ambassadors in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected.

2021 Local Award Winner

Haydan Pestorious, Worth County

The Iowa 4-H Reporters program is an opportunity for youth who have an interest in media and the communications project area. Selected participants will get to work with professional media mentors from Iowa Public Television, WHO Radio, and the Iowa Newspaper Association and develop news media during two consecutive weekdays of the Iowa State Fair. Follow the program page link above for more information. Up to sixteen participants in grades 9-12 will be selected each year.

2021 Local Award Winners

Rebekah Craighton, Franklin County
Teagan Johnson, Worth County

“These opportunities to be recognized are an important part of the Iowa 4-H program,” said Bonnie Dalager, 4-H educational resource development specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “The dedication that these young people demonstrate to pursue state and national recognition and leadership opportunities is a testament to their mastery of various project areas and interests, and to the desire they have to give back to their communities, our country and our world.”

The event provides an avenue for youth to practice and develop leadership, communications, and college and career readiness skills through hands-on educational application and interview activities.

The State 4-H Recognition Day coordination team worked with 4-H volunteers to review written applications and conduct panel interviews, delivering an engaging, skill-building experience for 4-H participants.

The event was made possible with the support of over 160 caring adult volunteers from across Iowa who reviewed 4-H award applications and interviewed the youth participants virtually using video teleconference platforms.

“The collective efforts and dedication of our volunteers was the reason we have been able to continue to provide this opportunity for youth regardless of the limitations that the current situation has put on all of us,” said Dalager.

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