Tama County 4-H youth receive state awards

Lauren Keller of Gladbrook among recipients

Lauren Keller and Wyatt Silhanek. PHOTO COURTESY JENNY HULME

Toledo – Tama County 4-H members were recognized for their accomplishments during the State 4-H Recognition Day held March 25, on the Iowa State University campus. This statewide event, held each spring, is the culmination of the year’s recognition process.

The Iowa 4-H State Recognition process invites 4-Hers from across the state to pursue state and national leadership opportunities and awards. Iowa 4-H members selected to be State 4-H Council members, National 4-H Conference delegates, National 4-H Congress delegates, Shooting Sports Ambassadors, Iowa 4-H Reporters, and project area award recipients are selected and honored.

-State 4-H Council members work directly with Iowa 4-H, representing the program across the state. They also plan the annual Iowa 4-H Youth Conference held at the end of June, which hosts over 700 Iowa youth on the Iowa State University campus.   

-National 4-H Conference is held each spring in Washington, D.C. This trip engages young people in a week-long focus group where they share their perspective on important issues with national leaders including Congressional members. 

-Youth applied for National 4-H Congress, a week-long trip to Atlanta, Georgia, which promotes leadership, community service, team building and cultural issues. 

-Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassadors are also chosen through the recognition process.  These individuals will advocate for the SESS program at the county, regional and state level, while gaining leadership, public presentation and public relations experience. 

-Fifty youth were selected around the state to win project area awards. These young people have demonstrated mastery, leadership, communication and service in a specific project area throughout their 4-H career. 

-Iowa 4-H Reporters receive hands-on training in video production, radio, and journalism by our partner organizations, and then work in teams covering events at the Iowa State Fair.

-Healthy Living Ambassadors will be immersed in a community health and wellness learning experience addressing issues such as hunger and food insecurity, nutrition and physical health, and mental well-being.

The following will represent Tama County: Lauren Keller of Gladbrook, Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassador and Food and Nutrition Project Award and Wyatt Silhanek of Tama, Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassador.

The Iowa 4-H recognition process begins locally in each county and concludes each year with State 4-H Recognition Day. All Iowa 4-Hers are welcome and encouraged to participate in recognition events, whether at the local, state or national level. In order to apply, each member must determine their eligibility for the various state opportunities available; summarize their personal and project area goals, and their experiences in and out of 4-H events and programs. 

A three-member statewide award evaluation committee then reviews each application. Most of the award opportunities culminate in an interview round, which is hosted as a full day event in Ames, where each member is interviewed by his or her evaluation committee.

The Iowa 4-H Youth Development program values recognition as an important part of positive youth development. The 4-H recognition process has been designed to motivate young people to excel, foster self-appraisal skills, encourage individualized learning, and encourage engagement into increasingly difficult challenges. 

For more information on the Iowa 4-H program, please contact your local county ISU Extension and Outreach office at jhulme@iastate.edu or 641-484-2703.