New awards pay tribute to 4-H club leaders

4-H club leaders are some of the most influential people in a lot of young folks’ lives.

The Iowa 4-H Foundation understands the impact  these club leaders can have own children, which is why it is honoring them and seeking nominations for the second annual Loren Kruse/Successful Farming Outstanding 4-H Leader Award.

Kruse, a former 4-H member, explained her thought process in helping establish the award to 4-H supporters in the past.

“I will always be grateful for the dedicated volunteers, leaders and extension professionals who’ve led America’s 4-H programs,” Kruse said. “The people through 4-H made a difference in my life. They taught me life skills that I use every day.”

In Jasper County, there are more than a dozen 4-H clubs, some of which have multiple leaders. Jasper County ISU Extension and Outreach Youth Coordinator Stacy Wilson explained how essential leaders of 4-H programs are for  area youth.

“I can’t even stress how important 4-H leaders are. I honestly can’t,” Wilson said. “It’s another caring adult in these kids life that they know they can come to no matter what issues they might have. It’s someone providing them with leadership opportunities along with community service and citizenship activities.”

Winners of the prize would receive a $1,000 certificate to use towards their club’s expenses. This year’s awards will be given out during the state 4-H conference on June 25, but nominations are due on Feb. 1.

“I think it’s very important, because everybody likes to be recognized,” Wilson said. “They are certainly not doing it for the recognition and I don’t think any of them are doing it for that. They don’t expect to be recognized. They are doing it because they love 4-H and because they love the youth that they work with, going to the fair and doing everything that is involved with 4-H.”

To nominate a 4-H leader, you may do so online at the following link: