The Youth Education Committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau and its affiliates awarded 10 Illinois 4-H members with its Leadership, Citizenship, and Professionalism Award at a ceremony held Saturday, Oct. 7 in Champaign. In addition to the award, the winners participate in an elite leadership training with members of Illinois FFA.
The winners included Hallie Anderson of Wayne County, Austin Brockmann of Boone County, Josephine Hubele of White County, Megan Kerschner of Macon County, Adrianna Maxwell of Hamilton County, Brittney Muschetto of Will County, Zachary Perkins of Kendall County, Anne Preston of Macon County, Kaley Rouse of Stark County, and Tanner Scherer of Richland County.
Presenting the scholarships on behalf of the Illinois Farm Bureau was Jenny Webb, membership and program specialist. In addition to her work in Farm Bureau, Jenny is a McLean County 4-H alumna where she showed Paint horses and former Extension staff member.
“As we look ahead to the future, we are proud of the dedication, service, and fortitude of the young men and women who have developed through our 4-H program,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H.
About our winners:
Hallie Anderson: Hallie exhibited her first 4-H project and stayed to watch the livestock show. That was all it took. From then on, she knew she wanted to show cattle in 4-H. Now, she has an entire herd of Red Angus cattle and travels with a show string to various county fairs, both Illinois State Fairs, and national shows. As her showmanship evolved, so did her 4-H leadership. Hallie is involved with her county 4-H Federation, serving as president, and is on the county 4-H livestock judging team. She serves as a 4-H Teen Teacher and is on the Extension Council and the county 4-H Foundation Board of Directors. Hallie has attended the Illini Summer Academies twice and found her dream career while doing so. She plans to become a veterinarian.
Austin Brockmann: Austin’s desire to take better care of his sheep led to his interest in animal science and the veterinary science project. He has focused his research in animal genetics in order to match desirable traits in rams with solid traits in ewes while watching for genetically-based diseases or less desirable traits. He has been involved in sheep judging and showing, as well as teaching workshops for other members. On the state level, he worked with the state lamb weigh-ins which are required for state fair exhibition. Austin also serves as a Science Ambassador, attending training and then teaching the National 4-H Youth Science Day experiment. He serves as president of the county sheep producers organization and donates frozen lamb meat to 4-H silent auctions to help raise funds. Austin is a previous State 4-H Key Award and State 4-H Award Scholarship winner.
Josephine Hubele: Josephine has a wide variety of interests, but the development of her leadership skills helps her in all of her life activities. From serving as a 4-H Science Ambassador to leading a 4-H Cloverbud group to coordinating community service activities, she has assisted people of many different ages and backgrounds. She teaches workshops in several different project areas, serves as a mentor to many youth, and helps advocate for change in her community via the 4-H Kids Helping Kids program in White County. Josephine is a member of the Speaking for Illinois 4-H team and has talked to state legislators during Legislative Connection events. She is a Teen Teacher and has travelled on several mission trips to other countries. Josephine is a previous State 4-H Key Award winner and delegate to National 4-H Congress.
Megan Kerschner: Megan’s involvement in club and county 4-H program activities helped her improve her abilities to lead others, and evolve into the person she wants to be. She is active in the county 4-H Federation and Ambassador programs, and serves as a STEAM Extravaganza Event volunteer. She is a 4-H Teen Teacher and serves on the Extension Council as a 4-H representative, providing youth voice to the decisions made regarding the county program. She serves on a variety of other county committees, such as the Decatur Celebration Science Explosion planning team, Macon County Legislative Representative, 4-H Show Board, and Decatur Mini Maker Faire Planning Committee. When her previous club lost its volunteer leader, Megan became a teen leader of a new 4-H club so she could help younger members learn and use the skills that she had learned. She also credits 4-H with teaching her how to set goals and work towards them. “4-H has turned me into the leader I am today, and I will forever be thankful to have been part of such a wonderful program.”
Adrianna Maxwell: Adrianna loves working in her home garden, growing vegetables and blackberries. Through her project area, she became a Teen Teacher, working with 30 youth in the Hamilton County 4-H GIFT Garden during the summer. She assisted twice weekly with teaching classes. Adrianna also designed her 4-H public presentation around growing and caring for blackberries. In addition to her Teen Teacher role, she is involved with several leadership roles on the county level, including the county 4-H Federation, Extension Council and several county committees. She has attended the Illini Summer Academes at the University of Illinois, 4-H Camp and 4-H livestock events. Adrianna plans to study horticulture and continue working with her garden.
Brittney Muschetto: Brittney is a confident public speaker, member of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, past delegate to National 4-H Conference, and the founding member of a county 4-H Ambassador Team. She served on the planning committee for the new Illinois 4-H Teen Leadership Conference and is a regular attendee at 4-H Legislative Connection events at the State Capitol. She is actively involved in her club’s annual 4-H food drive, preparing and delivering 1,200 food bags to local residents and annually providing about 28 families with bags of food around the holidays. Brittney has mentored 4-H’ers in cake decorating, poultry judging, and leadership. Currently, Brittney is a freshman at the University of Illinois, living at the 4-H House Cooperative Sorority.
Zachary Perkins: Zach finished his tenth year in the swine project. He is a member of the Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team, advocating for the livestock industry by talking with legislators and educating consumers. He has attended the World Pork Expo and Illinois Pork Expo, learning about swine genetics. Zach has toured large farrowing and swine operations and volunteered at the State Fair Swine Birthing Center. Zach has given numerous presentations on various aspects of the swine industry. On a local level, he is involved in a variety of community service activities, including working at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, cooking pork burgers for fund-raisers, helping with tornado clean-up, and assisting with events at a local nursing home. Zach previously received the State 4-H Key Award and attended National 4-H Congress as an Illinois delegate.
Anne Preston: Anne is exceedingly active in her 4-H program, is a member of several school organizations, serves as a Special Olympics volunteer, and volunteers as a YMCA Counselor. She feels the communication skills she has learned through 4-H help on a daily basis in these activities. Those same skills have helped her promote the 4-H program to her community, serving as a 4-H Ambassador and giving presentations about 4-H to various audiences. Anne states that communication as a whole has impacted every aspect of her life. She feels she is more prepared for college, class presentations, job interviews, and building strong relationships and can succeed in life because of her 4-H background.
Kaley Rouse: From the very beginning of her 4-H experience, Kaley has been involved in club and individual community service activities. She helps at fall festivals, works on a variety of benefits, collects food, and created her own charity to benefit The Children’s Hospital of Illinois and St. Jude. “Helmets & Heels” has been her own special project for the past seven years, collecting new toys, stuffed animals, and various other items to deliver to St. Jude right before the holidays. Since starting the toy drive, Kaley has collected over 4,000 items. Her service will continue as she has chosen to become a nurse practitioner, specializing in pediatrics. Kaley is a past recipient of a State 4-H Award Scholarship.
Tanner Scherer: 4-H has impacted Tanner, teaching him how to be successful in many areas of life. His interest in welding led him to the technology based side of the welding industry, CNC programming, and drafting. His last two years in high school, he operated a CNC machine that he assembled and programmed. He started a small metal fabrication business, dealing primarily with CNC cut parts and decorative pieces. 4-H allowed Tanner to develop skills in public speaking, record keeping, work ethic, responsibility, tenacity, respect, and the courage to never give up. Tanner is pursuing a degree in agricultural engineering and credits his 4-H experiences for contributing to his success.