On Nov. 18, Plymouth County 4-H’ers, parents, leaders and volunteers were recognized for their hard work, dedication, and support of 4-H.
The awards program represents the conclusion of the 4-H project year and an opportunity to honor those involved in Plymouth County’s 4-H program which, according to Ann Schoenrock, County Youth Coordinator, is ranked in the top seven in the state.
Throughout the year, members work on citizenship, leadership and communication in specific project areas. By completing the qualifications, they can earn bronze, silver, and gold discs to add to their 4-H plaque to commemorate their 4-H accomplishments.
Members can also receive an Outstanding Junior, Intermediate, or Senior Award; these nominations are made by the club leaders. Senior 4-H’ers must also turn in a completed record book to the volunteer review committee in order to be considered for the senior-level awards.
Senior Member Awards
Senior 4-H’ers, who are in Grades 10-12, also have the opportunity to be nominated for special awards.
Senior Spirit Award honors 4-H’ers who have shown exceptional leadership and enthusiasm in 4-H. Senior Spirit Award winners: Marie Taylor (America Bells); Derek Probst, Chris Reising, Merrissa Schlichte (Grant Clever Clovers); Kurtis Hoffman, Emily Meerdink (Johnson Juniors); John McNaughton, Adam Sitzmann, Sarah Seuntjens (Kingsley Krowners); Mitchell Hoefling, Breanna Schoenrock (Lincoln Toppers); Carla Robinson, Sierra Stuerman (Lucky Liberty Lopers); Caty Schwartz (Plymouth Pros); Ethan Van Dam (Remsen Ramblers); Daniel Ahlers, Brianna Dunn, Emily Pratt (Stanton Lucky Clovers); and Mindy Gerrietts (Stars & Stripes).
Another senior award is the Achievement Award which honors those 4-H’ers who have shown outstanding personal growth through participation in a variety of projects and programs. Achievement Award winners: Shelby Puhl (American Achievers); Merrissa Schlichte (Grant Clever Clovers); Kristen Foley (Johnson Juniors); Daniel Ahlers, Brianna Dunn, Emily Pratt (Stanton Lucky Clovers); and Scott Schroeder (Union Vikings).
Senior members could also receive the Agriculture Award which recognizes members who have shown personal growth through a wide variety of agricultural projects and programs. Agriculture Award winners: Daniel Ahlers (Stanton Lucky Clovers) and Molly Renken (Grant Little Giants).
The Ak-Sar-Ben Award is given to one 4-H’er per county who is making significant progress towards maturity through service for the advancement of the 4-H program. Ak-Sar-Ben Award recipient: Catherine Pratt, Stanton Lucky Clovers.
The “I Dare You” Award recognizes two 4-H members who are juniors in high school. It is awarded to the most “four-square” (head, heart, hands and health) 4-H’er with character and leadership qualities who encourages and challenges them to lead creative and purposeful lives. I Dare You Awards: Daniel Ahlers and Brianna Dunn (Stanton Lucky Clovers).
Outside of these special senior awards, the 4-H & Youth Committee takes nominations for special adult awards. This committee then votes on a recipient for each. This year, adults receiving these special honors included:
• 4-H Leaders of the Year – Phil & Gail Schoenrock of the Lincoln Toppers;
• 4-H Alumni – Brett McNaughton;
• Honorary 4-H Member – John Ahlers; and
• Partner in 4-H – Icon Ag & Turf of Le Mars.
Leaders Years of Service
Leaders were also honored for their years of service. Becky Beitelspacher (Grant Little Giants), Tyler Dimig (Horse Committee), Karen Bogenreif (Horse Committee), Gary Larson (Plywood Busters), Brian Collins (Kingsley Krowners) and Kris Collins (Kingsley Krowners) received the Silver Clover pin for five years of service.
Denise Anthony (Promotion & Recruitment Committee) and Brenda Phelan (American Panthers) received the Pearl pin for 15 years of service.
Julie Beitelspacher (Record Keeping Committee), JoAnn Casper (Lincoln Toppers), Jennifer Linton (Horse Committee), and Gail Schoenrock (Lincoln Toppers) received the Diamond Clover Pin for 20 years of service.
Linda Beitelspacher (Record Keeping Committee, Fair Comimittee) received the Ruby pin for 30 years of service.
Gene Held Memorial
Another special award given out at Recognition Night was the Gene Held Memorial Photography award.
Gene Held was a long-time photographer of the grand champion exhibits at the Plymouth County Fair. After his passing, his wife, Annette, decided she would like to keep Gene’s love for photography alive by sponsoring a contest for 4-H and FFA members at the Plymouth County Fair.
The main criteria for this picture was the picture had to be of nature taken within five miles of the 4-H’er’s home. This was the challenge the Held’s gave themselves each year for their Christmas picture. Many photos were submitted at the fair and photography judges choose one picture to receive the award.
Haley Hayworth of the Stanton Lucky Clovers was the recipient of this cash prize and certificate from the Gene & Annette Held family in honor of her photograph.
Outstanding Junior Awards
Outstanding Junior Awards winners included: Brooke Haage (American Achievers); Kerstin Thoms, Kristen Heimgartner (Classy Clovers); Chance Irwin, James Kellen, Meredith Kellen, Nathan Weber, Carter Sitzmann (Grant Clever Clovers); Andrea Barrett, Emma Beitelspacher, Jenna Laughton (Grant Little Giants); Draven Haefs (Hungerford TMT’s); Sarah Ritz, Jennifer Ritz, Aaron Hartman, Jacob Foley (Johnson Juniors); Abbey Riemenschneider, Emily Kraft, Max Lindgren (Kingsley Krowners); Joel Jauer, Caleb Trieweiler, Emma Webb, Isabella Kessenich (Lincoln Toppers); Cassidy Gardiner, Kiera Croxen, Emily Walton (Lucky Liberty Lopers); Gabrielle Herbst (Plymouth Pros); Emmy Knuth, Cole Moffatt (Portland Preston Pillars); Nicole Maass, Andrew Maass (Remsen Ramblers); Katie Peters, Katie McAllister, BJ Mairose, Melinda Zubrod, Riley Kluver (Stanton Lucky Clovers); Mary Ruba, Adam Gerrietts (Stars & Stripes); Sophia Bohnenkamp, Kelsey Behrens (Union Livewires).
Outstanding Intermediate Awards
Outstanding Intermediate Award winners included: Cheyanne McGee (American Achievers); Charlie Ellis (America Bells); Steven Haakenson (American Panthers); Walker Raymond, Morgan TenNapel, Haley Jungers (Classy Clovers); Caitlyn Niehus, McKayla Smith (Fredonia Country Club); Abbey Beitelspacher, Gina Gearke, Sarah Henrich (Grant Clever Clovers); Mitch Renken, Cody Laughton, Cassidy Utesch (Grant Little Giants); Katie Hamil (Hungerford M&M’s); Isaak Farrer (Hungerford TMT’s); Joe Vondrak, Natalie Harvey, Jessica Hansen, Anna Adix (Johnson Juniors); Abby Sitzmann, Anna Schmid (Kingsley Krowners); Hannah Trierweiler, Ross Hoefling (Lincoln Toppers); Isaiah Smith, Rachel Tentinger, Christina Stuerman (Lucky Liberty Lopers); Kyle Zenk (Perry Pals); Alexis Hughes (Plymouth Pros); Denton Ohlrichs, Jacob Holck (Portland Preston Pillars); Sara Eubanks, Megan Maass (Remsen Ramblers); Jared Kessenich, Sydney Peters (Stanton Lucky Clovers); Mitchell Ruba, Tom Ahlers (Stars & Stripes); Jordan Utesch (Union Livewires); and Nick Schroeder (Union Vikings).
Outstanding Senior Awards
Outstanding Senior Award winners: Marie Taylor (America Bells); Shelby Puhl (American Achievers); Kristen Foley (Johnson Juniors); Catherine Pratt (Stanton Lucky Clovers); and Scott Schroeder (Union Vikings).
Community Service Awards
Clubs were also recognized for their community service efforts throughout the year. The award went to the Fredonia Country Club and Honorable Mention to the Stanton Lucky Clovers.
County Council Inductees
The new County Council members were inducted into the council. New members include Alex Foley and Dominick Foley (Portland Preston Pillars); Rachel Kehrberg (Hungerford M&M’s); Hannah Kessenich (Grant Little Giants); Kourtney Miller (Hungerford TMT’s); Emily Pratt and Nate Kessenich (Stanton Lucky Clovers); Andy Pratt (Kingsley Krowners); Breanna Schoenrock (Lincoln Toppers); Nick Schroeder (Union Vikings); and Cali Westergard (Johnson Juniors).
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