January: Darwin Eucker
Darwin has been the organization leader of the Malcolm Trap Club for seven years. It has been a 4-H club for three years. He is also superintendent of the Super Fair 4-H Trapshooting Contest.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because of the confidence the kids show as they improve their skills,” he says. “Every trap shooter reaches some level of improvement and as the light bulb comes on with a new technique, it makes my job fun and worth the time spent coaching my team. My favorite experiences as a 4-H volunteer was our third place trophy at the state shoot. The team had a great year and getting third place made me very proud of how well we competed against 70 other teams, including much bigger schools. Any time any of our kids gets a medal, it’s a great feeling.”
February: Diane Usher
A 4-H horse program volunteer for at least 20 years, Diane is a project leader for Hunter’s Pride 4-H club and helps the club superintend the 4-H Hunter and Hunter Hack Jumper shows at the Lancaster County Super Fair. She helps teach club members jumping, dressage and other English horse disciplines. Diane is also a member of the Horse Volunteers in Program Service (VIPS) committee and has helped with jumping clinics.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because it’s neat to watch the kids grow, learn and become good citizens,” says Diane. “Seeing how much the horse program and county fair horse shows have grown is pretty amazing. When I was in 4-H, I showed at the State Fair Coliseum. It’s interesting how much has progressed and improved through the years. The English side has really grown.”
March: Carl Cederberg
A 4-H volunteer for four years, Carl is the coach for the NBots 4-H club and First Lego League (FLL) robotics team called The Rebels.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because it makes a difference to the children involved,” he says. “Parents make all the difference in 4-H. Without involved parents, none of the events would be possible. My favorite experience as a volunteer was our first Lego League competition, which was difficult. The robot broke during the practice table. On our last robot table, we were able to complete all the tasks we set out to do. The youth were so excited they went crazy -- from all the excitement you would have thought we just won the whole competition.”
April: Doug Malone
A Norris FFA Advisor for 32 years (retiring this spring), Doug has contributed greatly to 4-H/FFA at the Lancaster County Super Fair. He has announced the beef show for many years, helped get trophy sponsors and volunteered at horse shows when his daughter was in 4-H. He advocated to the Lancaster County Commissioners for the Lancaster Event Center to be built. He also helps train youth on livestock and horse judging teams.
“I enjoy watching kids light up when they accomplish new skills or things they never thought they could do,” says Doug. “My favorite experiences as a 4-H volunteer was serving the exhibitor breakfast at the county fair as part of a joint effort with our Men’s Church group and local cooperative. We served thousands of pancakes and had a great time in the tent.”
May: Stephanie Polk
Stephanie Polk has been organizational leader of the Star City Cornhuskers 4-H club for five years. Prior to that, she was a parent volunteer with the Harmony Hill Horse 4-H club for three years. A Nebraska 4-H Club of Excellence, the Star City Cornhuskers has done several community service projects under Stephanie’s leadership, including obtaining headstones for two civil war veterans with unmarked graves in Roca Cemetery. She has also helped staff shifts at 4-H Council’s food booth during the Lancaster County Super Fair.
“It is very rewarding -- and fun -- to watch the club members grow and learn new skills,” said Stephanie. “I especially enjoy watching the kids be recognized and rewarded for their efforts at the county fair and various contests.”
June: Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD)
The LPSNRD is an outstanding partner to Lancaster County 4-H through programs such as earth wellness festival and 4-H Clover College. Both organizations have helped organize ewf since it started in 1994, along with other organizations. LPSNRD has presented workshops at the annual 4-H Clover College since 2002.
McKenzie Barry of the LPSNRD says, “We enjoy teaching students about their environment around them, and conserving and protecting natural resources. The NRD works hard with our environmental education programs to bring nature in, or get students out, making discoveries and exploring.”
July: Pamela Cuttlers
Pamela has volunteered with various clubs for nearly 12 years. First, she assisted with the Rock Creek Kids, then as an independent parent, then the Helping Hearts Clover Kids and now she co-leads the Five Star 4-H club with friend Tammy Sheldon. Five Star was a Nebraska Club of Excellence last year. The club helps with Kiwanis Karnival and the 4-H food booth at Super Fair. Pamela has volunteered at the Lancaster County Super Fair and Clover College for many years. This year, she is teaching a Clover College workshop, “Cool & Upcycled.”
“My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is helping the kids come up with service projects for our club,” says Pamela. “We’ve made tie blankets to donate, baked muffins for firefighters and picked up trash at a park. I think it’s important for kids to learn to give back to their community. I like being a 4-H volunteer because I love the people. The connections I’ve made with other 4-H families are what sustain me as a volunteer.”
August: Lincoln Center Kiwanis
Lincoln Center Kiwanis has supported the 4-H program for over 50 years! Their activities include:
- presenting “Outstanding 4-H Club Awards” to the top 4-H clubs participating in the Lancaster County Super Fair,
- annually awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior active in Lancaster County 4-H,
- sponsoring the annual Kiwanis Karnival, a free, family event, and
- supporting the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center by helping build cabins and with landscaping, including donating, planting and caring for trees.
Many Kiwanis members have been 4-H club leaders and/or Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center board members. The Lincoln Center Kiwanis has also supported the Lancaster County Fair for numerous years, including helping serve the Family Barbecue.
Bill Caldwell, Kiwanis member says, “4-H is the best single investment in youth. My favorite experience volunteering is all activities where youth are excited.”
Kiwanis President Keith Prettyman says, “I like being there for youth — there is no better way to make them understand they are important and valued.”
September: Rachel Carlson
Rachel Carlson is the organizational leader for the Lincoln Shooting Stars 4-H club and superintendent for the Lancaster County Super Fair BB Gun/Air Rifle and Air Pistol 4-H contests. Rachel has helped with 4-H Shooting Sports since 2002 when she became county-certified as a rifle leader (BB gun and air rifle). She is now a Nebraska State 4-H trainer for certifying rifle discipline volunteers.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because I get the opportunity to educate local youth while spending time with community — engaged and energetic families,” says Rachel. “I also get to be involved in a local and statewide network of like-minded volunteers. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is traveling to 4-H events around the state with youth and parents from our club. I also love sharing in the little accomplishments 4-H’ers achieve from week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year.”
October: Marlo Yakel
Marlo has volunteered for 4-H since she was 8-years-old, helping her parents superintendent static exhibit areas at the Lancaster County Super Fair. About ten years ago she became co-superintendent of the Science, Engineering & Technology and Safety areas with her dad. She is also co-superintendent of the Bicycle Safety Contest with her sister.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because it’s just something we have always done as a family for three days during the summer — it is a part of summer,” she says. “I enjoy seeing the judges, 4-H’ers and parents. I especially enjoy seeing the 4-H’ers grow from year to year. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is seeing the interactions between the judge and 4-H’ers during interview judging — it is a wonderful learning/teaching experience.”
November: Sara Hansen
Sara has volunteered with 4-H for six years. After three years helping with the Helping Hearts clover kids 4-H club, she organized and is leader of the Clever Clovers 4-H club. The club was a 2015 Nebraska Club of Excellence and does at least one community service project a year — last year they planting flowers at Tabitha Health Care and sewed pillowcases to donate to the foster care program. Sarah has also helped staff shifts at the 4-H food booth at the Lancaster County Super Fair.
“I like being a 4-H leader because 4-H really does make the best better!” Sara says. “I feel truly blessed to have been a 10-year 4-H’er myself and know that it has helped shape my life and career. Giving back and passing that on to my children’s generation is something I enjoy. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is observing both small and large accomplishments of our 4-H’ers, as well as assisting youth who are active and eager participants in meetings service projects, workshops, contests and fairs. 4-H is a family activity. I am very blessed to have my husband, Chris, as a leader and I have much parent/guardian support. I would not be able to do it without them.”
December: Tammy Sheldon
Tammy has been a 4-H volunteer for five years. She started helping with the Helping Hearts clover kids 4-H club and she is currently co-leader of the Five Star 4-H’ers 4-H club, which was a Nebraska Club of Excellence last year. She has helped club members with several community service projects including making tie blankets for the Children’s Hospital and collecting supplies for the Humane Society. Tammy has also volunteered at 4-H Clover College and 4-H Fashion Show judging.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because I feel like I am a part of something very special,” Tammy says. “As a 4-H volunteer, I am helping youth develop skills they will need to became leaders for our future. I know that I am making a difference! My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was when our club created a presentation to give to local organizations ... I was so proud of how hard the youth worked and their public speaking skills!”