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4-H Alumni, Volunteers and Partners Honored
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Awards presented included the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2012, the 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Awards, the Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Awards and the Michigan 4-H Citation Awards.

Source: Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Contact: Michelle Lavra at 517-432-1555, ext. 141

4-H Alumni, Volunteers and Partners Honored


On June 21 outstanding Michigan 4-H alumni, volunteers and partners were honored at the Michigan 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony at Michigan State University.

Awards presented included the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2012, the 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Awards, the Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Awards and the Michigan 4-H Citation Awards.

Mary Ellen Sheets, founder of Two Men and a Truck/International, Inc. and 2002 4-H Emerald Clover Society member, served as the mistress of ceremonies.

Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society (ECS) 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. ECS members receive a recognition award, an exclusive ECS membership pin, and individual biographical recognition on the society’s Web site and on the ECS wall at Kettunen Center. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

The 2012 ECS inductees are:  Joan L. Pierce Boewe, of Richmond, Ky.; Patricia A. Dishaw, Crystal Falls; Joan D. Dostaler, Lake Linden; Keith D. Ferris, Hastings; Friedrich J. Henningsen, Sturgis; Tod A. Kubiszak, Lawrence; Judith Edison Paul, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; and Stuart D. Sleight, East Lansing.

[FULL BIOS & PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ECS HONOREES AT www.mi4hfdtn.org/ecs, below is a brief bio.]

Joan Pierce Boewe’s international experiences through 4-H resonated throughout her life. She made a career combining her love of music, education and the world. Her career took her abroad as an opera singer, then stateside as music professor until returning to Germany for advanced study in voice during sabbatical.

Patricia Dishaw has lived as a model citizen in her community giving to countless organizations. She shows tremendous commitment serving as a 4-H leader for over 40 years, nine terms as township treasurer and six decades as church organist.

Joan Dostaler has dedicated her life to 4-H and young people as a Houghton County 4-H volunteer leader of the oldest club in copper country for over 50 years. In addition to teaching numerous 4-H arts and crafts, she promotes a number of 4-H community service projects annually. In her spare time she advocates for Cystic Fibrosis and volunteers at Van Riper State Park.

Keith Ferris has served his community well – a skill he most definitely learned through 4-H. He’s served as county commissioner, firefighter, 4-H volunteer and currently serves as director for the National IFYE Foundation board.

MSU Extension has been lucky to have the expertise and knowledge that Fred Henningsen brings to water conservation in this state. He is recognized widely for his numerous contributions to our natural resources and water conservation, MSU and Extension, as well as his commitment to community organizations.

Tod Kubiszak has been influential in the agriculture community both locally and statewide. He has shown a dedication to youth with his continued service to 4-H, FFA and the Young Farmer Program in Van Buren County.

Judith Edison Paul promotes higher education and continues to be instrumental in a number of projects to serve both her current Wisconsin community as well as back home in Michigan as a longtime supporter of the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and the Mawby-Edison Endowment.

Stuart Sleight routinely attributes his success in life to his 4-H experiences as a youth. 4-H prepared him for a career in veterinary medicine as a Michigan State University professor for both veterinary and graduate students as well as his research in pathology and carcinogens.

ECS members are inducted every two years. The inaugural class was inducted in 2002 in honor of the national 4-H centennial. Subsequent classes were inducted in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Nominations for the 2014 class will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2014.

4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Awards

The 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards honor outstanding volunteers for their dedication to youth. The Lifetime Volunteer Award is presented to a 4-H volunteer who has spent 10 or more years volunteering for 4-H; the Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a 4-H volunteer with fewer than 10 years of service. The honorees received a plaque, mini-brick and recognized on the Salute to Excellence brick pathway recognition at Kettunen Center. Honorees also receive a $400 award in their name to be designated to a 4-H program, club or activity of their choice. This award is funded by the Michigan 4-H Volunteer Recognition Fund at the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

The 4-H Lifetime Volunteer Award was presented to Diana P. Langshaw, Augusta, who has served as a Barry County 4-H volunteer for over 50 years. A Barry County 4-H alumnus and 4-H Emerald Clover Society member, Langshaw started out as an organizational leader for the Busy Beavers 4-H Club for five years before moving into project leadership roles in other clubs that needed adult volunteer assistance. Diana is also the North Central Regional Outstanding Lifetime 4-H Volunteer and will be honored as the National 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer in October.

Jamie Pierce, of Grand Rapids, received the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award. He has been a 4-H volunteer in Ottawa County since 2009 for the Journey 4-H Mentoring Program in Ottawa County. Pierce is a caring, dedicated and positive volunteer who goes above and beyond to support the youth he mentors and to strengthen and develop mentoring opportunities not only in his local community, but also statewide.

MFB 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Awards

The Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes outstanding achievements of Michigan 4-H volunteers or groups that have exhibited excellence in 4-H youth education and leadership development in the areas of 4-H beef cattle; dairy cattle; goats; horses; horticulture, crops and soils; poultry; rabbits; sheep; swine; and veterinary science. Honorees receive a $1,000 award in their name to be designated to a 4-H agricultural program of their choice. This award is funded by the Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Endowment Fund at the Michigan 4-H Foundation.
Recipients from 2010-11 and 2011-12 are, Dale Grabill, Grant and Joan Spindler, Owosso, respectively.

Since 1983, Grabill has guided hundreds of Newaygo County 4-H youth in the Grant Livestock Club. He empowers youth to lead both club meetings and community service projects and also encourages youth to attend local, state and national 4-H educational opportunities. His focus however, is on developing the youth themselves, providing them with a group setting where they can learn skills, develop leadership and confidence to help them succeed in life.

Joan Spindler has served as leader of the Rangers 4-H Horse Club since 1960. She has provided leadership and training to club members who have led successful lives in the agriculture field and many other professions as well. Spindler excels in developing youth for the future and promotes leadership, citizenship and community service.

Michigan 4-H Citation Awards

The Michigan 4-H Citation Awards, the highest recognition presented by Michigan 4-H, will also be presented during the 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony. Since its inception in 1946, the Michigan 4-H Citation Award has honored and recognized individuals and organizations whose contributions to and support of MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development programs, have significantly advanced the work of Michigan 4-H on a multicounty, regional, statewide and national basis. The contributions of honorees have served to expand the capacity of Michigan 4-H to positively impact the lives of Michigan’s young people in significant and meaningful ways.

Recipients of the 2012 4-H Citation Award are Chemical Financial Corporation, of Midland; Robert J. Patterson, Big Rapids; and Philip A. Seitz, Hale.

Through his involvement with Michigan 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp, Robert Patterson has helped to make the camp a multi-award winning educational program and has influenced more than 1,400 young people in their appreciation and awareness of the great outdoors, many of whom have pursued careers in natural resources. He also served as Michigan 4-H Foundation trustee, a Mecosta County 4-H volunteer and volunteers each year for Kettunen Center’s Breakfast with Santa event.

Philip Seitz’s strong belief in the power of 4-H youth programs to change children’s lives led to the development of 4-H in Poland and the Michigan/Polish 4-H exchange – a relationship that continues today. He served as a Michigan 4-H Foundation trustee – twice – and served as the board’s president. He has also been an Iosco County 4-H volunteer and continues to be a valuable resource to the Michigan 4-H Challenge program.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development has been privileged to share a 27-year partnership with Chemical Financial Corporation benefitting both from their organizational and financial leadership talents in support of Michigan’s young people. Two corporate presidents have served as Michigan 4-H Foundation trustees and their support has helped to annually underwrite 4 H volunteer training workshops, supported community awards and banquets and provided support for areas of greatest need for Michigan 4-H Youth Development. Chemical Bank branches and employees have also been local partners in recognizing, supporting and volunteering for 4-H at the county level. David Ramaker, CEO of Chemical Financial Corporation and former trustee of the Michigan 4-H Foundation, sends his regrets. David is also receiving the Banker of the Year award this evening.

For more information on the 4-H Emerald Clover Society and its 136 members, visit www.mi4hfdtn.org/ecs. For more information on the 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards, visit http://web1.msue.msu.edu/4h/staward.html. For more information on the MFB 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award visit, www.mi4hdtn.org/grants.