The Pledge - Spring 2022

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Kansas 4-H began in 1905 when organized groups of youth came together to “learn by doing.” In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension System connected to Land Grant universities and nationalized 4-H as a positive youth development program. As Kansas 4-H grew, a national trend for 4-H camping was growing, and Kansas 4-H Clubs purchased Rock Springs Ranch in 1946. In November 1952, a committee of Kansans convened to determine what entity should hold the title of Rock Springs. With a vision for providing educational opportunities for Kansas youth, this committee created the Kansas 4-H Foundation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to holding the title for the property of Rock Springs, early Foundation goals included international programs, leader training and advancement of Rock Springs Ranch. The Foundation continues to partner with the Kansas 4-H program to meet the evolving needs of Kansas youth and develop future leaders. We acknowledge and appreciate our longtime 4-H friends. Their lifetime of generosity creates new opportunities for the youth of Kansas.

ON THE COVER: Emry, Phillips-Rooks District, aims as a caring adult guides her bow and arrow at 4-H summer camp in 2021. PHOTO BY TIM NAUMAN


Rock Springs Ranch camp team


From loud chatter in the dining hall to climbing on the high ropes course at Rock Springs Ranch, Camp Directors Letha and Jared Causby are ready to start summer camp season. Camp director is a new role at Rock Springs Ranch, working with the executive director and entire program team to organize and execute an exciting camp season. Letha and Jared moved to Kansas from North Carolina in January 2022, and they hit the ground running to prepare for summer camp. They are hiring and training counselors and staff to provide a positive and safe camp experience for Kansas 4-H youth. For more information about summer staff opportunities, visit From her own experiences, Letha said summer camp breaks up the routine of ordinary life and provides a place for kids to make friends, have fun and discover who they are without limitations from school or parents. “My vision for 4-H camp at RSR for this summer and beyond is that we are an open and inviting place for all,” she said. “If you are a current 4-H’er, or if this is your first experience, you leave camp with the same confidence and knowledge that camp is a special place, everyone feels included.” Letha emphasized that camp is important to kids’ overall health. “Camp allows youth an immersive experience free from much of the stress and anxiety found in everyday life,” she said. “School is about making good grades, sports are about winning, etc. Camp is one of the last places where kids can be kids. They do not have to worry about the same pressures as the ‘real world.’” Letha met her husband, Jared, while she was working at summer camp. Together, they have developed a passion for serving youth through summer camp experiences. While they don’t have any children of their own, Jared and Letha are aware of the role parents play in a child’s development. “Camp is such a wonderful and safe place for your child,” Jared said. “We are going to do everything it takes for your child to be safe and have a great time. Your role during the week is crucial in continuing to develop your child’s independence. On the other side of the week we will return to you your child as their best self.” Letha has eight years of progressive residential camp experience. Her most recent position was Senior Program Director of YMCA Camp Hanes located in King, North Carolina. In this role she oversaw six camp programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Public Relations with a Sociology Minor from



Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina Jared has six years progressive residential camp experience. His most recent position was Associate Director of Adventure Camp & Conferences also with Camp Hanes. In this role, Jared oversaw the Outdoor Education, High Ropes Programs and Retreat Services. He holds an Association of Challenge Course Technology Level II Certification. Jared also holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management with a Coaching Minor from North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In the past, Jared has challenged kids to set personal goals because they constantly underestimate themselves. He hopes that momentum of confidence carries them right into the next activity. “I hope they can walk away knowing that they faced some challenges and that they succeeded,” he said. “Camp becomes special when campers challenge themselves to spend the night away from home, or to be more welcoming to others, or to share a feeling, or to overcome a conflict with someone or to stand up and sing a silly song. Nothing great comes without challenges, and I hope our campers are able to reflect back on summer and realize that.” Letha and Jared are committed to meeting youth’s essential needs at 4-H camp. This includes: Belonging: This is what Letha and Jared believe camps do best. They want to create a place where everyone

belongs. Spending a week in one place gives campers a sense that they belong there. There’s so much time to create new things. Camp may be the first place they meet their best friend, or the first time they go ziplining, or the first time they act in front of a group of people. Mastery: Camp can provide a great environment for different interests that aren’t quite as demanding as the outside world. Campers get to learn at their own pace with only the simple goal of having fun and gaining confidence. Independence: This happens multiple times at camp every single day. It starts with remembering your towel when you leave the pool or overcoming a fear. Letha and Jared said they love when parents pick up their kids and are so surprised to hear that their child made their own bed or did the zipline. Generosity: Camp makes being nice cool. When kids are put on the same playing field, they start to understand the value of generosity. When a child knows how much they themselves want to go on the giant swing, and yet they allow another camper to go first they understand the reward of being generous and how much that can mean to someone else. Because their essential needs are met at camp in a safe environment, Letha and Jared agree that now more than ever, summer camp helps youth to feel empowered to make decisions for themselves. “When kids come to camp, they get to be their authentic selves and gain independence that will help them throughout their lives,” Letha said. “Going to camp once in your lifetime is fun. Going to camp each year is life changing. “

“Camp becomes special when campers challenge themselves to spend the night away from home, or to be more welcoming to others, or to share a feeling, or to overcome a conflict with someone or to stand up and sing a silly song. Nothing great comes without challenges, and I hope our campers are able to reflect back on summer and realize that.” Jared

MEET THE TEAM MARIAH WHEATON Mariah is the main point of contact for parents/guardians in regard to the upcoming camp season, especially when it comes to navigating registration. Mariah is serving as a helpful hand to the Camp Directors!

DEVIN BARRY Devin oversees the daily operations at Christy Stables to ensure that the herd is taken care of and ready to provide memorable rides to campers! Devin trains the team of wranglers about each horse in the herd.

JENNIE COUP Jennie does a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that all financial needs are met and she’s been working with Rock Springs for more than 45 years. Jennie helps to make sure all payments are processed correctly for families.

GUILLERMO VARGAS Guillermo leads the Food Service Team so campers receive their daily nutritional needs at all meal and snack times! He strives to make Williams Dining Hall a place of comfort so that campers can feel right at home when they sit down for a meal!


Each morning, campers gather around Flag Pole Plaza to say The Pledge of Allegiance and The 4-H Pledge.

CAMPERSHIPS Similar to how a scholarship provides access to education, we are establishing statewide camperships to make camp affordable for youth from all 105 Kansas counties. Funds will be available to support current 4-H members with financial need, and serve as a recruitment resource to introduce 4-H to other Kansas youth through an immersive camp experience. Your gift of a campership will ensure that all youth in Kansas have the same opportunity to explore, learn and grow at Rock Springs Ranch!






THE MIKSCH FAMILY LAUNCHES CAMPERSHIPS “Our family has a legacy of giving to Rock Springs Ranch. We enjoy hearing youth share about their memorable experiences. We hope more donors will join us in supporting Camperships.” – Duane & Pat Miksch, Manhattan, Kansas 6




Giving the gift of EXPERIENCE “My parents, Bev and Marge Stagg from McPherson, Kansas felt educational experiences were very important in everyone’s life and felt 4-H created those opportunities for many people. Beverly David Stagg, my father, was a County Extension Agent in Norton County and McPherson County and was a counselor at Rock Springs Ranch for many years. Both my parents thought Rock Springs Ranch was a beautiful place and would often stop there when they were in the proximity. I am very happy to create a legacy honoring them by creating camperships for young campers attending Rock Springs Ranch.”


KANSAS 4-H FOUNDATION OFFICE architecture | landscape architecture | urban planning | interiors KANSAS 4-H FOUNDATION 7

Bringing WITH value to communi t ies GENEROSITY For more than 100 years, Kansas 4-H has relied on the generosity of volunteers in delivering 4-H to Kansas youth. Thousands of caring adults shared their time, knowledge and effort to learn alongside youth and help them find their JAKE WORCESTER sparks. These generous PRESIDENT/CEO adults have recognized the value of investing in youth and the rewards it brings to the youth, to their communities, and to themselves! Later in this issue, readers will learn about a few of the thousands of volunteers that are part of this process. At the Kansas 4-H Foundation, we believe in teaching youth the importance of generosity. As a part of their 4-H experience, caring adults model what generosity looks like throughout their interactions with youth. April was National Volunteer Month, and we are celebrated more than 10,000 youth and adults who give their time as part of 4-H. Volunteering is a key



way of investing in your community, making the best better, as we say in 4-H. 4-H members across the state support Kansas 4-H in a variety of ways. 5,000 youth volunteer in leading younger 4-H members. The broad range of ages in 4-H provides leadership, service, and mentoring opportunities for older youth. Members and their 4-H clubs engage philanthropically and are recognized as Gavel Club members. Through Gavel Club, youth learn about the importance of giving back and the significant impact philanthropy makes when we all come together. In the midst of a pandemic, more than 150 clubs raised more than $50,000 in support of the Endorse the Course Campaign. We thrive on philanthropy and volunteers in all that we do to provide immersive experiences, foster innovation and enhance accessibility. It’s never too late to get involved and volunteer or give back to your community. Volunteering isn’t a long-term commitment either. You can pick your level of engagement, and I encourage you to connect with local extension professionals and get engaged today! -Jake Worcester, President/CEO of the Kansas 4-H Foundation

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Stock gifts provide yearly DONOR SAVINGS A

4-H has been a part of our family for four generations. We both grew up with parents who were 4-H club leaders and were involved in many activities, chores and trips related to our 4-H projects. The principles 4-H instills in youth helped shape who we are today, and we are grateful and blessed for that experience. We chose to provide our gift to the Kansas 4-H Foundation in the form of a direct stock transfer. This option is a taxefficient way of giving and allowed us to maximize our endowment gift to accomplish our goal of establishing a scholarship for 4-H youth.

fter doing your taxes recently, you might have noticed that your capital gains taxes were a little higher than you would have liked to pay. A simple and easy way to offset that in the coming year is to donate stock directly to the Kansas 4-H Foundation. Let’s go over some of the benefits: It is the most tax-savvy way to give. You can avoid capital gains taxes and you still get to take a tax deduction if you itemize on your federal taxes. Capital gains come into play if you have appreciated stock you have held for longer than one year. Gains are great generally, but can have bigger tax consequences. If donors give directly to the Kansas 4-H Foundation, donors avoid paying taxes on their gains, and the Foundation is tax exempt.

Make your dollars go further. The money you might have paid in taxes instead goes to improving the 4-H experience in Kansas including Rock Springs Ranch. This maximizes the philanthropic impact of your gift. By donating stock, you can give more money at no cost to you. Win-Win! It is easy! Reach out to the Kansas 4-H Foundation office at 785-775-0123 to connect with someone on our Development team and we will collect the necessary information and take it from there. We have worked to make the process as straightforward as possible. You will get a receipt from us and be able to claim a charitable deduction on your tax returns. Sources: FreeWill, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

After working closely with our CPA, financial professional and representatives from the Kansas 4-H Foundation, we found passing on appreciated assets to be an effective way to make an impact and honor our family’s commitment to Kansas 4-H. We encourage those interested in providing a gift to the Kansas 4-H Foundation to visit with their financial advisors and explore the benefits of this giving option.




This example includes the following assumptions: • The donor is in the 35% federal income tax bracket. • The cost basis of the stock is $2,000. • The stock has been held for more than a year. • The tax rate on long-term capital gains is 20%. • The example does not take into account state or local taxes, alternative minimum taxes, the 3.8% net investment income tax, or limitations on itemized deductions that may be applicable.



Major gifts inspire


Transformational philanthropic gifts have provided positive youth development experiences allowing Kansas 4-H to continue throughout the state.

SUNDERLAND FOUNDATION: A HISTORY OF GIVING BACK TO 4-H The Sunderland Foundation gave their first gift to Kansas 4-H in 1982 for $1,000. After 26 years of giving, they have contributed $1.6 million to support Kansas 4-H youth. The first 25 years of giving totaled $600,000. In their 26th year, they committed $1,000,000 to advance health care for Kansas youth. Their gift has enhanced the newly renovated Health Center at Rock Springs Ranch. The Sunderland Foundation’s vision to provide support for the community through higher education and health facilities aligns with Kansas 4-H’s mission to meet the social, emotional, and physical needs of youth. Their confidence in Kansas 4-H continues to grow. ​​ ATTERSON FAMILY FOUNDATION P MAKES LARGEST SINGLE GIFT FOR 4-H PROGRAMMATIC SUPPORT Rock Springs Ranch will welcome teens to its new Counselor-in-Training and Leader-in-Training (CIT/LIT) programs this summer. As part of the advancement at Rock Springs Ranch and 4-H Camp, these new programs have been made possible through generous support from the Patterson Family Foundation. The Patterson Family Foundation has made the largest single gift for programmatic support in the history of the Kansas 4-H Foundation. The $860,000 gift will provide three years of funding for the new teen programs at Rock Springs Ranch. The goal is for all 105 counties in Kansas to nominate one Counselor-in-Training (CIT) to attend the week-long program at no cost to the county or camper. These funds will underwrite curriculum/ program development, fund summer staff



for the CIT/LIT program, and provide for additional enhancements. These camp programs are designed to shape the next generations of leaders by creating experiences where youth feel a sense of pride and commitment to their camp community, which can translate back to their schools, 4-H Clubs, and communities. Based in Kansas City, the Patterson Family Foundation was established to reinvest in rural communities and cultivate values of education and hard work for current and future generations. This is the first gift from the Patterson Family Foundation, which carries on the charitable legacy of Cerner founder Neal Patterson and is led by his adult children.

NATIONAL 4-H RECEIVES TRANSFORMATIONAL GIFT FROM MACKENZIE SCOTT The National 4-H Council has received a transformational, unrestricted, $50 million gift from writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in support of Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program. Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council, was shocked to receive an out-of-the-blue phone call from a consultant letting her know that Ms. Scott had selected National 4-H Council for this historic donation. “We extend our profound gratitude to MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, not only for the largest single gift in 4-H’s 120-year history, but also for their belief in the ability of young people to improve the world around us,” Sirangelo said. National 4-H Council’s Board of Trustees has established a special task force to develop recommendations to the Board for use of these funds to maximize Council’s sustainable support of Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program. The task force will engage Extension leadership—including the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee—in that discussion over the next six months.

The photos above show renovations to the Health Center, Finnup and Preston Cottages at Rock Springs Ranch.

4-H members put their CITIZENSHIP IN ACTION Every year, 4-H youth visit the state capital as part of Citizenship in Action. This year, youth participated in Community Conversations as part of the immersive experience. This helps youth learn by doing as they use their leadership and communication skills for reasoned, public discussion. Beth Hinshaw, state 4-H Extension specialist, southeast area, serves as the Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council advisor working closely with the youth action team who planned the event. She said by adding Community Conversation to Citizenship in Action this experience is more valuable to youth because it teaches them to have difficult conversations with adults and their peers as well as listen to opposing views. “I think building these skills is really important,” she said. “Listening to other people and then also being able to frame and feel comfortable, sharing your opinions about things and finding ways to work together to come to a

consensus with others who maybe don’t have your exact same view.” With the previous two years being remote events, this year provided an opportunity to have in-person discourse, which created an immersive experience for the youth in attendance. They toured the capital building together in addition to participating in Community Conversations. Claire Walker-Helsel served as the CIA youth chair this year. She was very excited to serve in this leadership role because it’s something she wanted to do for a long time. She recalls as a younger member looking up to the older Council members and setting a goal to be the chair of the event one day. “You’re doing so much leadership within the event, you are standing up in front of your group, putting yourself out there,” she said. “From the moment (attendees) arrive to the moment (attendees) leave, their self-confidence has gone up. They contributed something; they toured the capital; they

Every year, 4-H youth visit the state capital as part of Citizenship in Action. This year, youth participated in Community Conversations as part of the immersive experience. This helps youth learn by doing as they use their leadership and communication skills for reasoned, public discussion.

met new people.” Jaden Huehl served as the chair last year. This year, she led several pieces of the event and specifically facilitated the Senate session. She mentored WalkerHelsel in her role as well. “My first year, I remember looking up to the Youth Council members and saying ‘that’s where I want to be’ so it’s really an amazing experience to be that for someone else,” she said. Huehl said that she was not a public speaker at first. Being homeschooled, she was exposed to public speaking, but CIA was one of the events that broke her out of her shell. She recently attended a National 4-H event and she credits her success to the skills she gained from CIA. “CIA was a pivotal event and it definitely made me the person I am today, especially in 4-H,” she said. “It’s amazing to continue this event for others.” Among the skills learned at the event, the bigger goal is to provide youth the opportunity to experience and participate in the legislative process and become more familiar with the state capital and the important work that happens there. Hinshaw shared that this event could make the difference for how they see legislature throughout their life. “I think it’s important for them to realize that the things that happen in Topeka affect them and there’s also no reason why they might not be those people in Topeka,” Hinshaw said. “The skills that they’re learning in 4-H now would be skills that are going to support them in a career someday but they could also support them being a future senator or a future representative.” Community Conversations happen throughout the year and across the state. To get more involved in your county, reach out to your K-State Research and Extension agent to find out what’s happening in your area. KANSAS 4-H FOUNDATION 13

Learning to leading as long-time volunteer


Long-time 4-H volunteer and club leader Dorothy Wilson attended a 4-H meeting more than 70 years ago and when she left, she was convinced that 4-H would be special to her. “I went home that night and I told my mom ‘I’m hooked, I’m hooked this is my thing,’ Wilson said. “It’s been my joy ever since and I never stopped. There was something about it, I don’t know what it was.” She was in the Asherville Achievers club as a 4-H’er for seven years and the last goal she wrote in her record book was that she hoped to be a club leader one day. Her dream became a reality when she became the club leader for the Ashville Achievers, who recently celebrated their 75th anniversary as a 4-H club. “It’s been my joy, it’s been my life, I’m just a 4-H leader,” she said. “I just love those kids. I’ve had three generations in my club, but I wouldn’t have been in so long if it wasn’t for those wonderful families who have backed me.” As a youth member, she enjoyed doing clothing and cooking. She shared that at the time she was in 4-H, those were the preferred projects for young girls. The skills she learned in 4-H have followed her throughout her life. She shares recipes with her family and people in her community are her taste testers for scones, muffins, cookies and more. Among her favorite 4-H memories are team demonstrations, judging at the State Fair and watching children in her club grow up and become community leaders. “It’s the joy of being able to start when they’re little and seeing them grow up into such wonderful adults,” Wilson said. “There’s very few of my 4-H kids that turned out bad. I credit 4-H with a lot of that, and parents, and community.” 14


Dorothy Wilson, club leader for the Asherville Achievers club in Beloit, Kansas, received the 2021 K-State Research and Extension Appreciation Award for the Post Rock District. Wilson is a volunteer and founding member of the Asherville Achievers 4-H Club, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary as an active 4-H club. The Appreciation Award is an annual award selected by the Post Rock District Executive Board recognizing a volunteer who helps us extend the Extension mission in our communities.

Wilson was honored as the Recipient of the 2021 K-State Research and Extension Appreciation Award for the Post Rock District. The Appreciation Award is an annual award selected by the Post Rock District Executive Board recognizing a volunteer who helpss extend the Extension mission in communities. Her leadership inspired her daughter Carolyn Harms who serves on the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustees and serves her local community. Dorothy’s daughters support the local scholarship, Theron E. Wilson 4-H Scholarship

named in honor of their father and Dorothy’s late husband. It was established for 4-H youth in Mitchell County. When asked why she dedicated a lifetime of service to her community and Kansas 4-H, she said she gets her motivation from the 4-H youth members. “I think the joy of seeing the kids’ faces when they get their ribbon at the fair and they come tell me what they got so I can congratulate them and give them a hug,” she said. “That’s my joy - getting to see their happiness. I think that’s what keeps me going is those kids.”



Lisa PfannenstielGarrison has been a 4-H volunteer for 18 years. She originally began volunteering while her sons were members in Shawnee County 4-H. After helping her sons with projects, Pfannenstiel-Garrison and her husband became project volunteers in the photography, horticulture, and home environment project areas. Eventually, PfannenstielGarrison began volunteering as a club leader in Shawnee County. Pfannenstiel-Garrison loves that 4-H brings many skills to youth, such as parliamentary procedures, record keeping, giving back to the community, and learning through doing. Pfannenstiel-Garrison continues to volunteer by coleading the Shawnee County photography project and advocating for Kansas 4-H. She encourages others to join her by volunteering for Kansas 4-H. She enjoys seeing the lasting impression of seeing youth smile when they accomplish a task, or gain confidence in the project.

Steve Fisher has been a Kansas 4-H volunteer for more than 35 years. Steve and his wife, Karla, started the Manhattan Meadowlarks 4-H club in 1984, when their daughter was 8 years old. Fisher is a former Kansas 4-H member in Meade County. 4-H provided Fisher with an opportunity to develop life skills and confidence in his decision making. In addition to volunteer service, he also made 4-H his career serving as an Extension agent and state specialist for more than 25 years. Fisher is inspired to volunteer because his 4-H experience began with a caring adult dedicating the time to help him excel in project areas and enhance his livestock judging skills. Fisher was thankful to have someone make him feel important as a youth. He enjoys continuing to see youth excel and watching them become successful in something that they never dreamed they could do. Fisher stays connected to 4-H by judging county and state fairs.

SHAYNE AND CHRISTINA ALDRIDGE Christina Aldridge and her husband, Shayne, have been Kansas 4-H volunteers for more than 15 years. Aldridge was a 10 year member of the Manning Jayhawker club in Scott City, Kansas. Some of her favorite projects were sewing, food and nutrition, sheep, leadership, and citizenship. She began volunteering in the Sunflower district as a cooking project leader. “All youth need places to grow and learn. The 4-H program is unique because it offers a fun, intentional program that can

support and encourage youth as they grow into young adults,” Aldridge said. Aldridge loves that 4-H has a place for everyone to excel. 4-H clubs and communities provide a place for youth to connect, lead, grow, and learn with other youth, but are also given a place to lead by example, as well as spaces to intentionally lead younger 4-H members. Volunteers can have a lasting positive impact on 4-H youth that helps add to youth’s ability to grow in a positive, rich, and safe environment.


stay connectedTO KANSAS 4-H

The Kansas 4-H family wants to celebrate when Kansas 4-H alumni and friends accomplish great things. Stay connected by sharing your updates and achievements with us at


ANN SPARKE, 4-H VOLUNTEER, FLINT HILLS DISTRICT, MORRIS COUNTY Ann Sparke enjoyed the opportunity to meet Amanda Miller, the recipient of the Warren L. & Mabel Johnson and Ann Johnson Sparke 4-H scholarship. Amanda is Ann Sparke meeting with her scholarship recipient. from Shawnee County and is a senior at Fort Hays State University majoring in Speech-Language Pathology. Ann shared stories about her parents’ dedication to positive youth development which inspired her to establish this scholarship. LUKE MAHIN, REPUBLIC COUNTY, RIVER VALLEY DISTRICT, 4-H ALUMNUS Luke Mahin and his wife, Jennifer, are co-owners of Irrigation Ales, located in Courtland, Kansas. The brewery opened Feb. 25. Luke is a former 4-H Luke Mahin, Kansas member and has continued 4-H Alumnus, is a business owner in to use the many skills 4-H Courtland, Kansas. has taught him during his professional development. Luke is thankful for the communication, organization, and presentation skills 4-H built during his youth. He has also found it valuable to have knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order while participating in meetings and conducting board meetings. JIM AND SHERI WHEATON Rock Springs Ranch Executive Director Jim Wheaton has accepted a new position leading a large camp and



Jim and Sheri Wheaton recently moved to YMCA Trout Lodge in Missouri.

retreat center in Missouri. Jim and his wife, Sheri, will be closer to family and able to return Jim to his camp and retreat roots. The Wheatons came to Rock Springs Ranch in 2017. SHELLY PRICHARD, HARVEY COUNTY 4-H ALUMNA ​​Shelly was selected as one of three to be inducted into the 2021 Wichita Business Journal’s Women in Business Hall of Fame. Hall of Famers are former Women in Business standouts who have dedicated their careers to working in Wichita and helping our city Shelly Prichard is grow through business efforts.

a current member of the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustees.

Shelly is a former 4-H’er from the Macon 4-H club in Harvey County. Her favorite 4-H experience was showing cattle and making friends throughout the state. Her mom was a 25-year club and project leader. She is a current member of the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustees. CAROLYN JACKSON, MCPHERSON COUNTY ALUMNA Carolyn Jackson was honored as a recipient of the 2021 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award. The award honors a nationally recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the human sciences. Carolyn Jackson is

Carolyn is a former 4-H member a current member of the Kansas 4-H of the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club in Foundation board of trustees. McPherson County. Carolyn was active in many 4-H projects and ultimately was recognized as the State Project Award Winner for Citizenship. She is a current member of the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustees.

WADE WEBER, IOWA 4-H ALUMNUS Wade Weber, state 4-H program leader, has transitioned his role from leading K-State Research and Extension’s State 4-H Program and the Department of 4-H Youth Development. Weber has served in this leadership position since 2017. He will transition to new duties with Kansas State University in April in the Office of Student Life under the direction of Dr. Thomas Lane, Vice President of Student Life. BRENDA AUSTENFELD, HARPER COUNTY 4-H ALUMNA Brenda Austenfeld was elected as the 2022 Secretary on the Executive Committee of Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA). Brenda is a former member of the Hill Toppers 4-H club in Harper County. She participated in a variety of project areas and enjoyed attending 4-H camp. She is a current member of the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustees.


Wade Weber has transitioned to new duties with the K-State Office of Student Life.

Brenda Austenfeld is a current member of the Kansas 4-H Foundation board of trustrees.

For many 4-H’ers, Rock Springs Ranch is like a second home. Jennie Coup, who currently is the business manager at RSR, was 14 when she started working at Rock Springs. She can’t recall the exact moment that Rock Springs became her second home, but she definitely calls it that now. She has nearly 50 years of experience at the camp and conference center. She started as a part time worker in the kitchen and after business school, she was hired full time to be the first secretary Rock Springs ever had. “My first job here was setting and serving tables in the evenings and on weekends at the dining hall,” she said. “I also learned how to help the main cooks in the kitchen as one of their assistants during this time.” Coup was no stranger to Rock Springs when she started as an employee. She attended 4-H camp there when she was a young girl. She recalled her favorite memory was the bond with her camp counselor and the horse program. “At that time, we were allowed to take a test about horses, and if we did well enough on the test we were able to take our horse out on a ride through the prairie outside of the fenced area,” she said. She added that today’s program has evolved a lot since then. As an employee, her favorite memory just keeps happening year after year. “It is getting to see the excitement in the young children’s eyes when they get to participate in an activity they have never done before or seeing them accomplish a feat they may have thought they were too scared to participate in,” Coup said. Coup has been married to her husband, Guy, for 40 years, and they have two amazing children who were both in 4-H and attended camp at Rock Springs. Her family lives nearby so in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her kids and grandchildren. She said there is nowhere quite like Rock Springs, and that is what made her fall in love with it in the first place. “It is beautiful any season, and it brings out the best in most everyone because of its beauty. Rock Springs gives everyone the ability to relax, kick back and let their youth emerge no matter their age,” she said.


2022 YouthAMBASSADORS Philanthropy

SUKESH KAMESH Sukesh Kamesh is a junior in high school and a member of the Hawk 4-H Club in Kingman County. His 4-H project areas include Geology, STEM and Health and Wellness. He can’t pick a favorite because he truly values all of them. Sukesh also enjoys playing chess, watching YouTube videos and being outdoors. He is also involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), student council and volunteers in his community. “My most meaningful moment in 4-H would be my time at National 4-H Conference,” he said. “I have several memorable local and state moments, but my time during the conference allowed me to meet several highly motivated 4-Hers who I will definitely work with in the future to run our government!”





Channing Dillinger is a freshman in high school and a member of the Wranglers 4-H Club in Stevens County. Her 4-H project areas include livestock, crops, woodworking and welding. Her favorite area is livestock because she gets to learn the production and business behind it. Channing enjoys crocheting and paddleboarding. She is also involved in FFA, youth group and science club. “My most meaningful memory in 4-H was when me and my sister were holding a bucket calf clinic,” she said. “One little girl didn’t have a good grip, and her calf got loose. She chased him all the way to the fairgrounds before a group of cowboys roped it, and she did not lose her tight grip on that rope the rest of the time. This taught me to always hold on, never let go.”

Jaden Huehl is a junior in high school and a member of the Hometown Helpers 4-H Club in Lincoln County. Her favorite 4-H project areas include leadership, public speaking and citizenship. She is also very involved in the agriculture mission area including showing many different types of animals, livestock judging and horticulture. “My favorite project is public speaking because it’s a skill I’ve developed through many years of hard work in this project area, and it has helped me in so many ways outside of 4-H,” she said. “It truly has shaped me into the person I am today, giving me many opportunities like 4-H state leadership council and national conference.”



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