Iowa Youth Impress Judges during State 4-H Recognition Day

Lauren Keller from the Tama County Young Guns was recognized with the following awards: National 4-H Conference, Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassadors, and Communications project award. Join in congratulating Lauren on her hard work and achievements.  


April 16, 2024, 9:10 am | Sydney Peterson, Bonnie Dalager

AMES, Iowa - Iowa 4-H youth showcased their leadership, communications and college and career readiness skills in the annual State 4-H Recognition Day interviews in late March. Interviews were held in person at Iowa State University and virtually. This statewide event, held each spring, culminates the year’s recognition process.

Senior 4-H members in grades 9-12 apply to be selected to pursue state and national leadership opportunities, trips and awards. Iowa 4-H members selected to be State 4-H Council members, National 4-H Conference delegates, National 4-H Congress delegates, Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassadors, Iowa 4-H Reporters, Iowa 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors and project area award recipients are selected and honored.

4-H youth interview.The event provides an avenue for youth to practice and develop leadership, communications and college and career readiness skills through hands-on cover letter writing and interviewing activities.

“Each year, youth from around Iowa share their experiences in and out of 4-H to earn state and national leadership opportunities,” said Bonnie Dalager, 4-H educational design and development manager with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The recognition process provides experiential skill development opportunities that help young people prepare for college and career processes such as writing a cover letter or resume or participating in a panel interview.”

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.

“My favorite part of working with State Recognition Day is hearing about the 4-H'er’s story, how involved they are in 4-H, and hearing them tell me (in the written application or interview) how 4-H has really formed them into the person they are,” said Leann Baumhover, State 4-H Recognition Day volunteer. “Most times they also share their future goals, inspired by experiences they have had during their 4-H years. When I finish my day and reflect as I drive home, I feel good about our future with outstanding 4-H’ers throughout our state and country.”

“State Recognition Day has given me a platform to work toward recognition of my work, while also training me for my future,” said Brody Kuhse of Bremer County. “I have used my resume created in 4-H often when applying for jobs, scholarships and even my college application. Because of what I have learned through State Recognition Day, I am more prepared for the communication, leadership and citizenship expectations of today's youth."

Awards are made possible by donors to the Iowa 4-H Foundation. The event ran smoothly with the support of over 100 caring adult volunteers across Iowa. They reviewed 4-H award applications and interviewed the youth participants. Approximately half the participating youth were interviewed in person, while the rest chose to be interviewed virtually using video teleconference platforms. The 2024 award winners included the following youth and are organized by honor and county.

For more information on Iowa 4-H State Recognition Day, contact Bonnie Dalager at bdalager@iastate.edu.

National 4-H Conference

National 4-H Conference engages young people in a week-long focus group in Washington, D.C., where they share their perspectives on important issues with national leaders, including members of Congress.

  • Brigid Bonner, Crawford County.
  • Mackenzie Craig, Johnson County.
  • Emma Lihs, Polk County.
  • Lauren Keller, Tama County.
  • Adylyn Petersen, Worth County.
  • Addyson Runde, Worth County (Alternate).

National 4-H Congress

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

  • Olivia Olson, Cass County.
  • Lauren Greving, Carroll County.
  • Pacey Bogue, Carroll County.
  • Samantha Tilley, Hamilton County.
  • Luci Kucera, Jasper County.
  • Samantha Wunderlich, Johnson County.
  • Saylee Gingerich, Johnson County.
  • Wesley Meyer, Jones County.
  • Kylee Kremer, Linn County.
  • Riley Reid, Marion County.
  • Aaron Lee, Plymouth County.
  • Marli Vanlaningham, Polk County.
  • Nora Pickhinke, Sac County.
  • Elijah Westercamp, Van Buren County.
  • Conner McCoy, Warren County.
  • Grant Farnham, Webster County.
  • Brigid McGowan, Woodbury County.
  • Kamryn Backhaus, Worth County.
  • Landen Nelson, Worth County.
  • Weston Willand, Worth County.

State 4-H Council

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 500 Iowa youth on the Iowa State University campus.

  • Lydia Longhorn, Boone County.
  • Lauren Greving, Carroll County.
  • Pacey Bogue, Carroll County.
  • Claire Sampson, Cerro Gordo County.
  • Lily Schulenberg, Cherokee County.
  • Brigid Bonner, Crawford County.
  • Monica Osborn, East Pottawattamie County.
  • Daniel Hommel, Grundy County.
  • Sophia Nibe, Hamilton County.
  • Alannah McKibben, Iowa County.
  • Mackenzie Craig, Johnson County.
  • Megan Swartzendruber, Johnson County.
  • Saylee Gingerich, Johnson County.
  • Wesley Meyer, Jones County.
  • Charlie Schrader, Linn County.
  • Emersen Gunzenhauser, Lucas County.
  • Aubree Boender, Lyon County.
  • Michael Jensen, Madison County.
  • Riley Reid, Marion County.
  • Ailey Marburger, Mills County.
  • Ella Johnson, Page County.
  • Aaron Lee, Plymouth County.
  • Megan Brennan, Plymouth County.
  • Emma Lihs, Polk County.
  • Marli Vanlaningham, Polk County.
  • Nora Pickhinke, Sac County.
  • Allison Wielenga, Sioux County.
  • Elijah Westercamp, Van Buren County.
  • Conner McCoy, Warren County.
  • Aiden Anderson, Webster County.
  • Blessing Cunigan, Webster County.
  • Grant Farnham, Webster County.
  • Addison Wicklund, Winneshiek County.
  • Grace Baker, Winneshiek County.
  • Bennett Jensen, Woodbury County.
  • Rylee Vohs, Woodbury County.
  • Benaiah Meier, Worth County.
  • Jessika Ausborn, Worth County.
  • Kamryn Backhaus, Worth County.
  • Weston Willand, Worth County.
  • Rylie Campbell, Polk County (Alternate).
  • Lauren Petznick, Worth County (Alternate).

Healthy Living Ambassadors

These youth 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.

  • Kylee Kremer, Linn County.
  • Elijah Westercamp, Van Buren County.
  • Addyson Runde, Worth County.
  • Benaiah Meier, Worth County.
  • Madison Ingebritson, Wright County.

Iowa 4-H Reporters

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

  • Pacey Bogue, Carroll County.
  • Samantha Tilley, Hamilton County.
  • Payton Curtis, Jones County.
  • Ali Hansen, Page County.
  • Garrett Von Stein, Polk County.
  • Ben Waddle, Story County.
  • Lilah Forbes, Story County.
  • Lydia Krueger, Warren County.
  • Samantha Williams, Woodbury County.
  • Addyson Runde, Worth County.

Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassadors

These individuals will advocate for the Safety and Education in Shooting Sports program at the county, regional and state levels while gaining leadership, public presentation and public relations experience.

  • Megan Swartzendruber, Johnson County.
  • Christian Mascher, Page County.
  • Lauren Keller, Tama County.
  • Wyatt Silhanek, Tama County.

Project Award Winners

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. Winners will receive an Iowa 4-H Foundation cash award of $125 with the support of project area award sponsors Glen and Mary Jo Mente.

  • Breelyn Dahlstrom, Allamakee County – Horse and Pony.
  • Lydia Longhorn, Boone County – Communication.
  • Abby Elsamiller, Bremer County – Leadership.
  • Brody Kuhse, Bremer County – Leadership.
  • Oliver Saxton, Calhoun County – Visual Art.
  • Brooke Booth, Carroll County – Music.
  • Claire Pellett, Cass County – Beef.
  • Jenna Schlieman, Dallas County – Swine.
  • Lilah Heinz-Wilson, Guthrie County – Rabbit.
  • Adelyn Vinsand, Humboldt County – Sewing and Needle Arts.
  • Kensley Paul, Iowa County – Sheep.
  • Charlie Lane, Jackson County – Beef.
  • Belle Netolicky, Johnson County – Leadership.
  • Kelly Marshek, Johnson County – Beef.
  • Mackenzie Craig, Johnson County – Poultry.
  • Sawyer Greiner, Johnson County – Horticulture.
  • Leah Koehler, Jones County – Civic Engagement.
  • Emersen Gunzenhauser, Lucas County – Meat Goat.
  • Denali Coffman, Madison County – Leadership.
  • Lillian Burkett, Madison County – Communication.
  • Michael Jensen, Madison County – Beef.
  • Sydney Bruxvoort, Mahaska County – Horticulture.
  • Riley Reid, Marion County – Meat Goat.
  • Sara Rosener, Monona County – Civic Engagement.
  • Izibelle Juhl, Polk County – Rabbit.
  • Gracie Kaufman, Poweshiek County – Horse and Pony.
  • Matthew Turley, Poweshiek County – Woodworking.
  • Mazee Henningson, Sac County – Sewing and Needle Arts.
  • Mya Henningson, Sac County – Civic Engagement.
  • Nora Pickhinke, Sac County – Leadership.
  • Ben Waddle, Story County – Digital Storytelling.
  • Grace Compton, Story County – STEM.
  • Julia Mortvedt, Story County – Horticulture.
  • Madison Geater, Story County – Communication.
  • Lauren Keller, Tama County – Communication.
  • Elijah Westercamp, Van Buren County – Communication.
  • Conner McCoy, Warren County – Communication.
  • Aiden Anderson, Webster County – Horticulture.
  • Kara McGonegle, Webster County – Leadership.
  • Addison Wicklund, Winneshiek County – Civic Engagement.
  • Caylie Adam, Winneshiek County – Rabbit.
  • Kendric Langreck, Winneshiek County – Poultry.
  • Brigid McGowan, Woodbury County – Communication.
  • Grace Flannigan, Woodbury County – Sheep.
  • Maria McGowan, Woodbury County – Leadership.
  • Addyson Runde, Worth County – Horse and Pony.
  • Adylyn Petersen, Worth County – Poultry.
  • Benaiah Meier, Worth County – Communication.
  • Jessika Ausborn, Worth County – Dairy Cattle.
  • Kelsi Liddle, Worth County – Horticulture.

Shareable photo: An Iowa 4-H youth member is interviewed during on the annual State 4-H Recognition Day on the Iowa State University campus.
 

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