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Berrien Co. 4-H Celebration Honors Members, Leaders


Published: Friday, November 20, 2020

Matthew Carpenter was presented with the 2020 Leo Stanley Outstanding 4-H Member Award during the annual Berrien County 4-H Member and Leader Recognition Celebration.

The son of Mark and Nancy Carpenter of Eau Claire, Carpenter has been a member of the Berrien County 4-H program for over 11 years. He has been a member of the Town and Country Paws and Pals 4-H club and Baroda Bunnies 4-H club.

Over the years, Carpenter has gained knowledge and project mastery in the dog and rabbit project areas. Four-H leaders, according to a Berrien County 4-H news release, describe him "as a natural born leader as he is always assisting with setting up and tearing down, planning club projects, as well as taking on various club officer roles."

Carpenter is known for providing insight and guidance to younger members who are having issues with their projects or in need of extra assistance.

The Outstanding 4-H Member Award is dedicated in honor of Leo Stanley, who was a model citizen and community leader who dedicated his life to helping people help themselves.

No more than two youth from the Berrien County 4-H program are chosen each year for this award, which is sponsored by Southwest Exchange Club of Michigan. Youth must submit an application that details their 4-H careers as well as a reference from a leader.

In addition to a $300 scholarship to go toward Carpenter's education, he received a framed certificate and a watch.

Other members and leaders were also recognized during the celebration, which was held virtually on Sunday.

Scholarship Winners

Darlene Mattson of Benton Harbor was the recipient of the 4-H Joseph Cerny and Evelyn Cerny Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 award was presented by Cerny family representatives, Deborah Bachman and Laurie Cerny.

Mattson, the daughter of Herman and Lisa Mattson, has been a member for 10 years. She is active in the Countrysiders 4-H club, Best Friends 4-H club, Town and Country Paws and Pals 4-H club and Straight Shooters 4-H club.

Mattson is a team instructor for the Best Friends 4-H club, where she mentors youth in the dog project. Mattson has been elected as a teen director for the Berrien County 4-H Leaders Assn., where she provides insights for the local 4-H program as well as providing a youth voice in program/event development. Recently, Mattson was awarded a state 4-H award for her hard work and dedication to the companion animal science project, specifically the dog program.

Mattson is pursuing a degree in engineering at Lake Michigan College.

The $1,000 Berrien County 4-H Alumni Scholarship was awarded to Karen Smith, daughter of Ryan and Beth Smith of Stevensville. Smith has been a member for more than 10 years in the Galien Chanters 4-H club, Baroda Bunnies 4-H club and the Fuzzy Friends 4-H club.

Smith has participated in a variety of projects that include, but are not limited to, rabbits, clothing and textile (sewing), food and nutrition, poultry and llamas. Smith has been involved in the annual 4-H Spring Achievement event, 4-H Exploration Days and has been elected to various leadership roles within her clubs.

Smith was also selected as a 2018 4-H state award delegate in the rabbit and cavy science project. She is a student at Southwest Michigan College in Stevensville.

Victoria Dumke of Buchanan received the $500 Berrien County 4-H Horse Leaders Assn. Equine Educational Scholarship. The daughter of Paul Dumke is a member of the River Valley Wranglers 4-H club.

As a member of the 4-H Horse and Pony project, Dumke gained knowledge on a variety of topics such as grooming, horse health and safety when working with horses. She developed a deeper understanding of ideal movement and confirmation as a member of the Berrien County 4-H horse judging team.

Besides project mastery, Dumke has learned valuable life skills, such as public speaking, self-confidence and leadership. Dumke was a member of the state champion horse judging team and along with her teammates represented Michigan 4-H in the national competition.

Dumke is majoring in accounting at Ferris State University.

Senior Plaque Awards

Four-H Senior Plaque Awards were presented to 14 members graduating from the Berrien County 4-H Youth Program. Seniors have been nominated each fall since 1965 by their club coordinator to recognize their devotion and loyalty. To be eligible, members must be active for at least five through graduation from high school. This year's 4-H Senior Award recipients are:

Olivia Borst, Al-Bar 4-H club; Jazmin Finch, Backyard Renegades; Evie Clare, Baroda Bunnies; Lilly Siewert, Double Bridle; Elijah Darda, Great Expectations; Katelyn Glendening, High Spirits; Alexandria Smith, High Spirits; Ben McKee, Redbud Country Goat; Parker Lyden, Redbud Country Goat; Sarah Jannings, River Valley Wranglers; Zachary Smith, Straight Shooters; Jae Walker, Tryon Saddle; Madeleine Stockman, Tryon Saddle; and Melody Hackett, We Can Ride.

Each recipient will be presented with 4-H senior cords to honor their achievements. The senior awards are sponsored by Berrien County 4-H Leaders Council Inc. and Berrien County 4-H Foundation Inc.

4-H Clover Awards

Four-H leaders who achieved milestones for years of service are:

• Five years—Karen Metz, Countrysiders; Connie Peterson, Best Friends; Janet Scott, Countrysiders.

• 10 years—Kaitlynn Miller, River Valley Wranglers.

• 15 years—Debbie Schmaltz, Boots N Saddles.

• 20 years—Pam LaPorte, Tumbleweeds.

• 25 years—Rob Lausch, Stewart; Linda Shannon-Challiet, Best Friends; Brian Troxell, Tractor Operator Program.

• 30 years—Eve Quint, Galien Chanters.

• 35 years—Sue Glossinger, Rainbow Tracks.

• 50 years—Suzette Hendershott, On the Rail.

4-H County Project Medals

Members honored for three years of accomplishment in the project area are:

• Beef Project—Lillian Moore and Matthew Moore, River Valley Wranglers.

• Companion Animal Science Project—Alyssa Garrison, Town and Country Paws & Pals.

• Llama and Alpaca Project—Kyle Smith of the Fuzzy Friends.

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