Heart of 4-H Winners 2019

2019 Heart of 4-H Award Winners

Thank you for helping make a difference!

Sandra Bulling
January: Susan Bulling

Susan was a 4-H club leader for several years when her children were in 4-H. Since 2002, Susan has worked at the Lancaster Event Center, currently as Senior Events Coordinator. She goes above and beyond to help schedule and plan 4-H events held at the facility. There are numerous 4-H events at the Lancaster County Super Fair and 4-H events throughout the year, such as clinics and shows.

4-H staff member Kate Pulec says, “Sue is always amazing to work with when planning our 4-H events. You can tell she genuinely cares about making it a great experience for the youth no matter how big or small the event.”

4-H staff member Kristin Geisert says, “Sue always has a helpful, ‘can-do’ attitude. She minimizes challenges while offering solutions.”

Susan says, “One of my favorite parts of the Super Fair is entry day. The 4-H’ers smiles and excitement show how proud they are of their projects. Several 4-H’ers tell me all about their projects and how they did. Watching Pee Wee Showmanship is one of my favorite events. Little upcoming 4-H’ers are so excited when they leave the arena. I hand them Dilly Bars for participating.”

Travis Hodtwalker
February: Travis Hodtwalker

Since 2014, Travis has been a junior board member of the Lancaster County Agricultural Society, which manages the Lancaster Event Center and Lancaster County Super Fair. In that capacity, he has assisted with 4-H & FFA livestock shows and activities at the Super Fair. He has gone above and beyond his duties as a junior board member to help with 4-H/FFA at the fair.

Former Lancaster County 4-H staff member Cole Meador says, “Travis is always willing and able to lend a helping hand whether it is market beef weigh-in day, setting up last minute panels for county fair or helping to make shows run smoothly. The time and energy Travis devotes to the 4-H program is invaluable.”

Travis says, “I enjoy helping with the shows and seeing all the hard work the 4-H kids put into their projects.”

Lois Muhlbach
March: Lois Muhlbach

Lois has been co-leader of the Pick-A-Pig 4-H club for about eight years. At the Lancaster County Super Fair, she is an assistant Superintendent of the 4-H Swine Show and she has volunteered at 4-H Council’s food stand.

“Working with the 4-H’ers is a great experience,” says Lois. “I love their enthusiasm. Our club builds confidence in its members. It is thrilling to see them grow in abilities and show responsibility for their pig project, as well as helping other members of the club. It also provides an agricultural/farm experience for urban youth. They learn in a real setting how farms work — including how pork gets from the farm to the table, plus responsible animal care.”

Megan Starner
April: Megan Starner

Megan is a parent volunteer with the Esprit de Corps Horse Dressage 4-H club and member of 4-H Horse Volunteers in Program Service (VIPS) committee. About five years ago, she took on the role of coordinating the annual Spring Fling Dressage Schooling Show which raises funds for the 4-H horse program. Three years ago, Megan became superintendent of the 4-H Horse Dressage Show at the Lancaster County Super Fair, with the assistance of the rest of the club.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because, in coordinating shows, I help bring in extra funds for the horse program to be able to offer extra incentives for the kids whether it be awards for time they put in with their horses, or educational opportunities,” Megan says. “I enjoy the kids, parents, leaders, Extension staff and exhibitors who are all part of 4-H. I also enjoy being able to help in some small way, and seeing how that shapes these kids and their futures is pretty exciting.”

Susan Martin
May: Susan Martin

Susan started as a parent volunteer with the Crafty Clovers 4-H club 2-1/2 years ago. The following year, she became a co-leader. For two consecutive years, the Crafty Clovers Club has been identified as a Nebraska 4-H Club of Excellence by meeting the criteria of choosing/electing youth officers, having one club project they do together and completing one community service project.

“I grew up in 4-H and know how important 4-H is,” says Susan. “When my girls were old enough, they started participating in 4-H. I enjoy teaching our members cooking, crafts and sewing projects. It is very rewarding watching our members grow in these areas. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was when 14 of our members received several ribbons at the Lancaster County Super Fair and some of the members placed at the Nebraska State Fair. I knew what I was teaching was making a big difference.”

Glenda Willnerd
June: Glenda Willnerd

Glenda has been co-superintendent of the 4-H Photography area at the Lancaster County Super Fair since 2014. Previously, she was a parent volunteer with the Flying Hoofs 4-H horse club for about nine years and coached hippology for two years. Glenda has also volunteered with 4-H in Otoe and Thurston counties, and judged 4-H exhibits (including clothing, Style Revue and food) at several county fairs. In total, she has served as a 4-H volunteer for 43 years!

“I love being a 4-H volunteer because it gives me an opportunity to meet and learn from others,” Glenda says. “I enjoy interacting with the 4-H members and love to see the new ideas they come up with each year at the fair. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is to observe 4-H member’s growth over the years in a project such as photography. One of our former 4-H members has become a judge in the area of photography and has served as a great role model for other members.”

Kylee Yakel
July: Kylee Yakel

Kylee has assisted with the 4-H Food & Nutrition areas at the Lancaster County Super Fair for 12 years, starting when she was 9-years old. She became a superintendent five years ago when she aged out of 4-H. Kylee has also helped with the 4-H Bicycle Safety Contest for about five years.

“For me, 4-H has always been a family affair,” she says. “My grandparents and parents were heavily involved in 4-H, and being able to follow their path by being a volunteer allows me to share the 4-H experience with other kids in the community. My favorite part of being a volunteer is judging day every year. I help coordinate interview judging for the foods area, and being able to see the pride on the kids’ faces as they explain their projects makes volunteering worth it.”

Susan Holland
August: Susan Holland

Susan has been a superintendent of the 4-H Home Environment, Heritage and Human Development areas at the Lancaster County Super Fair for six years.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because I enjoy seeing the kids bring their entries and seeing what they can do!” She says, “The 4-H’ers are so creative and talented. There is such a variety in the Home Environment area, it is fun to see all the entries. It brings back memories of my time in 4-H. Some projects, like a pillow, design board or furniture, are like what I did, but there are new classes incorporating technology or energy alternatives like solar or wind that are interesting to see. I just really enjoy giving back to such a great organization that was such a big part of my life!”

Brenda Nepper
September: Brenda Nepper

Brenda has volunteered for 4-H for four years as a parent volunteer with horse and Pick-a-Pig clubs. She has helped horse 4-H’ers achieve new horsemanship advancement levels and helped with club fundraising efforts. Last year, Brenda started the Cornerstone Equestrian horse 4-H club. She is also a member of 4-H Council and helps with its food stand at Lancaster County Super Fair and annual golf tournament.

“It is very rewarding to see the kids grow and mature into great young adults and know that I might have had a little part in helping them be successful!,” Brenda says. “I love helping kids see their full potential and helping them achieve it. My favorite part of being a 4-H leader is the goose bumps I get when I see the smiles on the kids faces when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could do. 4-H kids are on the right path in life and I like being a part of positive life choices.”

Kelsey Ebke
October: Kelsey Ebke

Kelsey has volunteered with 4-H in Lancaster County for four years and before then, in Buffalo County for eight years. In Lancaster County, she started the Tails N’ Trails 4-H horse club which gets together for riding meetings, horse shows, community service projects and fundraising. A certified 4-H Horse Judge, Kelsey conducts showmanship, reining and other clinics in Lancaster County and across the state.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because it gives me a chance to share my passion of showing horses with youth,” Kelsey says. “I want to show the kids that the skills they learn in 4-H and showing go way beyond the show pen. I enjoy seeing the friendships gained and the growth that my 4-H’ers make each year. My favorite experience was coaching a youth to the state championship in 4-H horse judging. It has been so rewarding working with young students and watching them grow up into leaders.”use it is neat to see all the exhibits the kids have created,” she says. “Each year at the fair, I enjoy talking to the kids and learning how the exhibit was made. My favorite part about being a volunteer is helping out at the furniture painting workshop. It is amazing to see the kids work on a project from start to finish, and being able to teach them some techniques.”

Heart of 4-H - Beverlee Keller
November: Beverlee Keller

A 4-H volunteer for four years, Beverlee is a superintendent of the 4-H Home Environment areas at the Lancaster County Super Fair. She also helps at the Bicycle Safety Contest, Fashion Show judging, Furniture Painting workshop and many Clover College workshops.

“4-H is such a great program for kids,” Beverlee says. “With all of the different projects, there is something for each of them. It introduces them to new areas of learning. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is the one-on-one with the kids during Clover College sessions. Watching them trying their hand at the project they are learning about and then to see their excitement with their finished product. It’s fun to see the growth in, not only their abilities from year to year, but also leadership skills growing as well.”

Heart of 4-H - Dave Hattan
December: Dave Hattan

Since the county fair moved to the Lancaster Event Center in 2001, Dave has helped set-up the 4-H Home Environment, Heritage and Human Development areas. He tracks down the exhibit components and puts them in place. Dave is able to move the heavier tables and displays many other volunteers cannot lift. He also pitches in helping set up other static exhibit areas.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because I enjoy being part of something big,” Dave says. “There is tremendous satisfaction in giving ones’ time for a cause that so many in Lincoln and Lancaster County enjoy. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is being around the kids in their creative endeavors, including my own children as they grew up and now my grandchildren.”

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