The National 4‑H Legacy Awards took place on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. Although the event is over, you can still show your support for 4‑H by making a donation.

Legacy Awards

The 8th annual National 4‑H Council Legacy Awards took place on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 and celebrated the tremendous achievements of the 4‑H community. Sponsorship of the Legacy Awards is an excellent opportunity for your organization to support 4‑H's life changing work as we grow from empowering six million youth to 10 million youth.

For more information about becoming a 2018 Legacy Awards sponsor, please contact Carolyn Fernandez (, Development Director, Individual Giving (phone 301.961.2983 or 301.755.7068).

Sponsor Benefits

Sponsoring the Legacy Awards is an opportunity to share your passion for helping young people reach their full potential and to be a part of a distinguished group of corporate and civic leaders and institutions.

  • Network with leaders from Fortune 500 companies, elected officials, celebrities and distinguished guests.
  • Increase brand visibility in urban, rural and global markets.
  • Give back by empowering more young people with the 4‑H experience.
  • Connect with the 25 million strong 4‑H alumni community.

For more information about becoming a 2018 Legacy Awards sponsor, please contact Carolyn Fernandez (, Development Director, Individual Giving (phone 301.961.2983 or 301.755.7068).

Your Hosts

The Legacy Awards are 4‑H's national event to celebrate the youth, adults and alumni who are making positive changes in communities every day.

Masters of Ceremonies and 4‑H alumni Anne Burrell - chef, TV personality and Food Network host - and Lazarus Lynch - chef, multimedia host and face behind the brand, Son of a Southern Chef - led the evening as we told the story of 4‑H and its impact growing true leaders today.

National Anthem and 4‑H Pledge

Watch Louisiana 4‑H'er Samyra Miller sing the National Anthem followed by 4‑H alum Jennifer Nettles and the 4‑H Youth in Action winners lead the room in the 4‑H pledge.

Grow True Leaders Corporate Honoree - $200,000

As the exclusive $200,000 Grow True Leaders Corporate Honoree of the Legacy Awards, you will enjoy prime visibility as the event co-chair in a place of distinction and prominence among our VIP guests, including leaders from Fortune 500 companies, celebrities and individual influencers.

The $200,000 Grow True Leaders Corporate Honoree carries the special distinction of our official sponsor of the 4‑H Luminaries Reception before the event, an exclusive invitation-only opportunity to connect and be photographed with some of 4‑H’s most distinguished alumni.

If you’re interested in being the Grow True Leaders Corporate Honoree, please contact Carolyn Fernandez (, Development Director, Individual Giving (phone 301.961.2983 or 301.755.7068).

Legacy Champion Sponsor - $100,000

The $100,000 Legacy Champion Sponsor will join an esteemed cadre of leaders dedicated to growing the next generation of kids. Supporters at this level will enjoy significant recognition on site at the event, as well as through national media surrounding the event connected to the 4‑H Grows True Leaders brand.

Sponsors at the $100,000 Legacy Champion level will enjoy significant recognition, as well as the honor of serving as the entertainment sponsor of the event to introduce performer(s) on stage and participate in the performer(s) meet and greet and photo opportunity at the 4‑H Luminaries Reception, an invitation-only gathering of 4‑H’s most influential and distinguished alumni.

If you’re interested in being the Legacy Champion Sponsor, please contact Carolyn Fernandez (, Development Director, Individual Giving (phone 301.961.2983 or 301.755.7068).

2017 National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Kent Bazemore

Kent Bazemore is a shooting guard for the Atlanta Hawks, where he is currently in his fifth NBA season. Raised in Kelford, North Carolina, a town of less than 300 residents, Kent earned a scholarship to Old Dominion University. It was here that he received the Lefty Driesell Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top defensive collegiate player. Undrafted out of college, Kent beat the odds to not only make the NBA, but to become a break-out starter for the Hawks.

Kent’s time as a 4‑H’er instilled in him a strong belief in giving back, which is why he created the ARMS Foundation as a platform to help children from all walks of life. The Foundation is a reflection of Kent’s own experiences and philosophies, and is a haven for children of all ages to build relationships, gain confidence, and of course, play basketball!

Dr. Faustino Bernadett

Selling eggs door to door in his red wagon was how this 4‑H alumnus from Chico, California, got his start. Dr. Faustino Bernadett later graduated from the University of California, Davis, before obtaining his Doctor of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco, and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. A leader in both the practice and business of medicine, he practiced anesthesia, then pain management, for over 30 years. He serves as a Health Commissioner for Los Angeles county and a trustee of the UCSF Foundation Board of Overseers, the Smithsonian Latino Center and the LA Challenge.

In an effort to reduce disparities in access to education and health, Faustino co-founded the Molina Foundation in 2004. The Foundation partners with thousands of community organizations nationally, including 4‑H and Cooperative Extension, to distribute millions of new books to children and families for free, and supports initiatives to improve the quality of life in communities across America.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza is an actress and producer who currently stars in FX’s new show Legion, a Marvel Comics science fiction series. Aubrey also stood out in the Emmy nominated comedy series, Parks and Recreation, earning nominations for an American Comedy Award for ‘Best Comedy Supporting Actress’ in 2014, and an Imagen Foundation Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress/Television’ in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Aubrey also stars in Ingrid goes West, a film that she produced, which recently premiered to critical acclaim at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. For her role in Safety not Guaranteed, Aubrey won the 2012 ALMA Award for ‘Favorite Movie Actress – Comedy/Musical’.

Aubrey is a proud Delaware 4‑H alumna, who is currently working with the Wilmington Drama League to promote community theater and arts programs in Delaware.

2017 Brand Champion Award

Osborn Barr

With offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and Nashville, Osborn Barr is an integrated advertising and communications agency that specializes in building connections between brands and rural audiences. Rural isn’t a zip code to Osborn Barr. It’s an attitude and belief system where hard work, honesty and respect for nature is equal to that of your neighbor—values that are at the core of the 4‑H brand.

Osborn Barr’s 4‑H roots run deep. Starting with its founder, Chairman and former National 4‑H Council Trustee, Steve Barr, over 30 percent of the agency has participated in 4‑H as a youth or volunteer. Osborn Barr is quite proud of that statistic because that same rural spirit that made 4‑H great drives the company still today.

2017 Youth In Action Pillar Awards

National 4‑H Youth in Action Winner and Citizenship Pillar Winner

Amelia Day

Sponsored by U.S. Cellular
When Amelia Day escorted her father to an appointment at a veteran’s hospital in 2012, she didn’t know that the visit would spark an idea for a 4‑H service project that would reach far beyond her hometown. A 4‑H’er since elementary school, Amelia knew first-hand the transformative power of 4‑H; she’d seen the difference 4‑H opportunities made in her own life to aid her in overcoming a difficult speech impediment. At age 13, when she sensed a need for encouragement and support for our nation’s veterans, she put the leadership skills she’d learned in 4‑H into action, and Operation: Veteran Smiles was born. This service initiative provides care packages, notes of encouragement and musical therapy to veterans at the Carl Vinson Veteran’s Hospital in Dublin, Georgia. Over the past 5 years, Operation: Veteran Smiles has impacted more than 4,000 veterans and engaged more than 6,500 volunteers with the help of 4‑H clubs, volunteers and grants.
View Amelia’s video.


Samuel Sugarman

Sponsored by Bayer
Growing up on a farm, Samuel Sugarman realized in his teen years that youth in his San Diego suburb didn’t experience many opportunities to be outdoors. These youth were glued to cell phones, computers and television screens much of the time and had little to no understanding of where their food comes from. A 4‑H’er since the age of 9, Samuel had developed life skills like public speaking and goal setting, while learning from adult mentors who modeled servant leadership. Drawing on these skills he’d developed in 4‑H, Samuel created the free Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature. Since the program’s inception, Samuel has led hundreds of Farm Tours for scout troops, youth groups and school groups. Through these tours, he taught youth about stewardship, compassion, patience and gratitude. In 2016, Samuel was honored for his service work with the Congressional Gold Medal for Service by Congressman Darrell Issa.
View Samuel’s video.

Healthy Living

Bryanne Sanchez

Sponsored by Molina Healthcare
Bryanne Sanchez became an advocate for healthy living in her community as her 4‑H club’s first Healthy Living Officer. Using this platform, Bryanne sought to bring initiatives promoting a healthy lifestyle to her Club and community. As her 4‑H club’s Healthy Living officer, she launched the annual Color Me Green Run in Imperial County. Annually, more than 250 runners participate in this fun, three-mile race that encourages youth and adults to stay active. She was instrumental in implementing the All 4‑Health Fair at the California State Leadership Conference, working to partner with other organizations to provide healthy living activities. Realizing that a healthy lifestyle includes both physical and mental well-being, Bryanne partnered with Creating Community Solutions to organize a Text, Talk, Act forum that provided more than 200 youth with the opportunity to discuss these topics in a healthy environment.
View Bryanne’s video.


Ava Lonneman

Sponsored by HughesNet
Ava Lonneman, a 17-year-old 4‑H’er through Ohio State University Extension, doesn’t let gender stereotypes get in her way when it comes to pursuing her dreams. Though told in elementary school that STEM “isn’t for girls”, Ava relentlessly pursued STEM herself and sought to bring STEM programming to her peers. As founder of a STEM mentoring program and her school’s 4‑H Maker’s Club, Ava has reached more than 1,600 youth using 4‑H curricula such as Junk Drawer Robotics and National Youth Science Day activities. Ava aims to explore all STEM fields and to set an example for youth to persevere in their interest areas, no matter the challenges they face. When she graduates in 2018, Ava plans to attend college and pursue a career in a STEM+M field, with the ultimate goal of becoming a university president.
View Ava’s video.


MSNBC Anchor & NBC News Correspondent

Craig Melvin

Craig Melvin is a two-time Emmy Award-winning MSNBC news anchor and NBC anchor and correspondent. He currently anchors NBC TODAY Weekend. Melvin is widely recognized for covering a wide range of events. He currently reports on the 2016 presidential campaign.

Melvin is a 4‑H alumnus. He joined as a middle schooler in Richmond County in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Melvin’s mother, an elementary school teacher,insisted that he join 4‑H so he could be involved in his community and get exposed to more opportunities.Melvin recalls a 4‑H registration table at the beginning of his middle school year and his mother signing him up to participate. For two years, he was involved in several public speaking projects.
One was a television project in which he was a part of the public channel election night coverage. In addition to helping Melvin find his career path, 4‑H taught him empathy and compassion for others.


Terri Sewell

Congresswoman Terri Sewell is serving her second term as the U.S. Representative of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. She is one of the first women elected to Congress from Alabama and is the first black woman to serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation. She sits on the House Committee on Financial Services and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. While serving in Congress, Sewell has held several leadership positions including Freshman Class President in the 112th Congress. She was selected by Democratic leadership to serve as a Chief Deputy Whip and sits on the Steering and Policy Committee.

Congresswoman Sewell is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Oxford University in England and received her law degree from Harvard Law School. She was the first black valedictorian of Selma High School. She is a proud 4‑H alumna.

Youth in Action National Winner

Ruwanthi "Ru" Ekanayake

Ruwanthi “Ru” Ekanayake launched the first-ever 4‑H Healthy Living blog, allowing 4‑H’ers to share their stories, build bridges and create national discussions about health. She also organized a successful Healthy Living Summit across nine counties in California through the University of California Cooperative Extension, which led to more youth starting local healthy living programs including farm-to-table gardening and cyber-safety programs. As a member of the National 4‑H Healthy Living Ambassador Team, she is committed to helping people live their best lives by advocating a more holistic approach to healthy living that includes healthy nutritional habits as well as mental and emotional well-being.

4‑H Brand Champion Award

Tom Lehr

Tom Lehr is President and CEO of Dailey, a renowned full-service ad agency based in West Hollywood, California. His 32-year career began in the Foote Cone & Belding media department, soon transitioning to account management work on blue-chip accounts across categories at Della Femina MacNamee and DDB. Lehr joined Dailey Advertising in 1996, with management responsibilities for the Nestlé, ConocoPhillips, Weyerhaeuser, Dole and Honda Powersports accounts. He assumed his present leadership role as chief executive in 2010.

The company has always believed in giving back to the community and is known for its work with National 4‑H Council as the chief creative architect of the new Grow True Leaders Campaign.

Lehr is an avid music lover and songwriter, and has played guitar professionally throughout his life.

Corporate Award

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest aerospace and technologies company, is committed to investing in and growing young people through its partnership with National 4‑H Council. Since 2010, Lockheed Martin has been a transformative partner as the lead supporter of 4‑H Robotics and Engineering. For the past five years, the company has helped 4‑H significantly increase engineering interest across 4‑H,from science exploration to real-world working experience in the STEM field. The partnership is currently developing a new 4‑H career pathway initiative with the goal of creating a talent pipeline —one that grows innovation and diversity in the workforce to bolster the nation’s economy. Lockheed Martin employees, leadership and local facilities have helped to further the company’s multi-million dollar investment through their donated time, talent and resources.

Just as the employees of Lockheed Martin work hard every day to “engineer a better tomorrow,” the company’s partnership with 4‑H inspires true leaders to grow a better tomorrow for the world.


National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Javier Palomarez

Javier Palomarez is the President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), America’s largest Hispanic business association. The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that combined, contribute over $486 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of 240 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide.

His opinions and points of view have appeared in leading media outlets including NBC, ABC, Fox, Univision, Telemundo, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Business Week, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, USA Today and many others. Mr. Palomarez is a seasoned public speaker, delivering numerous keynote speeches and panel discussions for some of the nation’s most influential institutions and conferences – including the Republican National Conventions, the Democratic National Conventions, The Atlantic, the Milken Institute, the George W. Bush Institute, Ernst & Young and the Kauffman Foundation.

Mr. Palomarez was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Minority Business at the Department of Commerce, and serves on the FCC Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity, Comcast NBCUniversal Diversity Advisory Council, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Board, the State Farm Bank CRA Advisory Council, and the Board of Children’s Medical Center – Dallas. He also serves on the Senate Task Force on Corporate Diversity and Inclusion and is a director of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).

He has consistently appeared on Latino Leaders Magazine’s “100 Most Influential” list, and was named one of the “75 Most Influential Hispanics” and “Top 100 Green CEOs” by PODER Magazine. Palomarez was also profiled by El Pais, Spain’s leading daily news outlet, and was featured by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) in “Ten Latinos Who Made History in 2012.” He is the recipient of the Latino Leaders Maestro Award and most recently, Palomarez received an honorary Doctorate from Westminster College, Utah’s premier Liberal Arts institution.

Youth In Action Award

Nosa Akol

National 4‑H Council is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Youth In Action Award is Nosa Akol. Nosa is a 17 year old senior at Binghamton High School in New York. Her 4‑H experience began when she joined CITIZEN U 4‑H her freshman year of high school.

According to Nosa, CITIZEN U 4‑H helped her overcome bullying, develop self-confidence and build leadership and public speaking skills. She was a delegate at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute. As a Wallace-Carver Fellow, Nosa received a paid internship at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health at Cornell University where she worked as a Biological Science Aide.

Nosa was also invited to be a panelist at the Norman Borlaug Symposium where she had the opportunity to speak with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about how micro-farming could help women and girls in South Sudan. In addition, Nosa delivered the keynote address at the 4‑H Career Explorations at Cornell University.

Within her community, Nosa was involved in the Great Pothole Solution Project to help map the location of potholes throughout the city of Binghamton. This spring, Nosa will partner with 4‑H alum Lazarus Lynch to lead a Hunger Banquet and Poverty Simulation to educate her community about childhood hunger and how they can become “hunger champions” in the fight to end world hunger.

As Nosa says, “My experiences in CITIZEN U 4‑H undid years of painful bullying, opened new doors and opportunities for me, and set me on a path to be an agent for change. 4‑H changed my life.” Congratulations Nosa!


National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Andrew Bosworth

Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth is vice president of advertising at Facebook and inventor of the social networking site’s popular News Feed, the feature that broadcasts what your friends are doing on Facebook. He is an alumnus of the El Sereno 4‑H Club and a proud fan of 4‑H on Facebook.

A Harvard University graduate, Bosworth raised animals and showed them at the county fair, and took part in the National 4‑H Technology Corps. A friend in 4‑H taught him computer programming.

At Harvard, Bosworth was a teaching assistant in an artificial intelligence class, where met his future boss Mark Zuckerberg. Before joining his former student at Facebook, Bosworth worked as a developer on Microsoft Visio for almost two years. Prior to his current role, he also worked as director of engineering at Facebook overseeing engineering, product and design.

An undeniable influencer in the Facebook company culture, he created the Palo Alto-based company’s engineering boot camp, which helps new recruits get up to speed on Facebook’s computer code and culture. A photographer who takes snapshots of company events, he’s also something of an unofficial Facebook historian.

Bosworth is an advisor and angel investor in several small companies including Spindle, and Balanced.

He grew up on a horse ranch and vineyard in the rolling hills of Saratoga in Santa Clara County, where his family has lived since 1891.

National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Anne Burrell

A renowned chef, author and TV personality, Anne Burrell is a proud alumna of 4‑H New York. She is host of the popular Food Network series Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and co-host of Worst Cooks in America.

With her trademark spiky blond hair and “pumped-up personality,” Burrell has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York, studied the culinary landscape and traditions of Italy, battled alongside Mario Batali as his sous chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and wrote a New York Times best-selling cookbook. She also started in her own right on Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs in fall 2011.

Growing up in upstate New York, Burrell’s passion for food and cooking began at an early age. After graduating with a degree in English from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, she pursued her interest in the restaurant business by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America. Following graduation, Burrell spent a year in Italy attending the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners and worked at a premier Tuscan restaurant. During this time, she grew to appreciate and understand the philosophy of Italian cuisine and culture, and home her lasting culinary pint of view.

Burrell loves to cook up engaging culinary lessons for America’s kids to help them understand the science behind her mouth-watering recipes. She participated in the White House “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout, along with White House pastry chef Bill Yosses and other special guests, to help kids and their parents see that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are key ingredients for culinary success. As part of Food Network’s partnership with Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds program, Chef Burrell also stars in a PSA to promote the fun of math and science.

Youth In Action Award

Andres Parra

Andres Parra is a remarkable Arizona 4‑H’er who credits 4‑H for putting him on a path to success, and empowering him to have a similarly positive impact on his peers and community.

Growing up as part of a Mexican immigrant family, Parra experienced many obstacles in life and struggled to find the motivation to excel in school. He was introduced to the 4‑H/United Healthcare Eat4‑Health program and discovered a passion for nutrition and exercise that led to more productive academic and personal health habits.

These habits led to compelling personal results for Parra, who dropped from 200 to 146 pounds by his senior year. Through the program, Parra also had an opportunity to lead community events and interactive educational activities empowering other young people to pursue healthy lifestyles. As a teen ambassador, Parra taught more than 200 5th and 6th graders about nutritious eating habits and making healthy choices.

His success as a youth ambassador opened the door to work for University of Arizona as an Instructional Aide at the Tucson Farm Village, where he taught nutrition to youth through the 4‑H Pima County Cooperative Extension program.

Parra is currently attending Pima Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Arizona and major in Nutritional Science.


National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Temple Grandin, Ph.D

Dr. Grandin is a New Hampshire 4‑H alumna, where she was involved with the 4‑H horse project. Horses and the 4‑H horse project were a refuge from the teasing and bullying she experienced as an autistic child.

Her first research in animal handling was a result of her work as an assistant 4‑H leader for beef and lamb projects. This research project on the importance of proper animal handling procedures started her on the path to her notable career as an author, animal handling facility designer, and sought after public speaker. In 2010, HBO also produced a biographical movie about her accomplishments.

Dr. Grandin says: “Young people need to be exposed to agriculture in order for them to become interested in it. 4‑H is an ideal way to expose children and teenagers to agriculture.I know a number of students who had no background in agriculture and they found out that they enjoyed working with livestock when they had an opportunity to do it. Young people need to have opportunities to work with animals. Middle school is an excellent time to get students involved in agriculture and other specialized careers. 4‑H is a good position to expose young children to agriculture. Students need to learn that there is more to life than video games.”

Youth In Action Award

Elisabeth D. Willis

Elisabeth D. Willis is a junior in high school student, born and raised in Pittsburg County,Oklahoma. She has been an Oklahoma 4‑H’er since the age of five. In 2009, she applied and was selected to serve as a Oklahoma State 4‑H Ambassador and is currently serving in her fourth year in this role. Her service has included travel to various places including Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia.

Elisabeth is being honored with the Youth In Action award for her service learning project, which has raised $10,000 for the Therapeutic Equestrian Association of McAlester (TEAM). TEAM is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth and adults with disabilities access equine therapy. Many of the volunteers who make TEAM possible are present or past 4‑H members and their parents. Elisabeth helped establish a local TEAM 4‑H club to raise awareness of the program, as well as hosting an annual music festival, all profits of which go directly to TEAM.

Elisabeth says, “4‑H has impacted my life in so many ways. It has not only provided me with leadership development but also service learning project opportunities. Being so active in 4‑H as well as other organizations has challenged my life in an abundant way. I have learned through past 4‑H experiences that with help from others, I am not alone.”

In addition to her involvement in 4‑H, Elisabeth also plays basketball and is an active church member. Her future goals are to attend a bible college for at least one year and then to attend Southwestern Christian University, majoring in Sports Therapy.

Corporate Leadership Award

Tractor Supply Co.

TSC stores have been investing in 4‑H locally for many years, but in 2010, a national partnership with National 4‑H Council was launched that has already surpassed raising more than $2,000,000 for local 4‑H programs in more than 1,000-plus unique communities across America. Through semi-annual in-store Paper Clover fundraisers hosted across all TSC stores every fall and spring, a portion of proceeds from reusable bag sales, proceeds from Dumor Show Feed which supports 4‑H animal science learning activities, and sponsorship of premier events like National 4‑H Congress, TSC is helping fund the various ways that millions of 4‑H young people are learning life skills, citizenship and leadership qualities, and ultimately emerging as the future leaders of America. Their unceasing commitment and that of each their thousands of team members makes TSC a corporate pioneer of youth development and is why we are so proud to honor them with the 2013 4‑H Corporate Leadership Award.

Many 4‑H members and families are TSC customers, and so many TSC team members either grew up in 4‑H or are involved in 4‑H today. Mr. Gregory A. Sandfort, has been the President of TSC since February 2009 and its Chief Executive Officer since January 1, 2013. Under his leadership, the TSC/4‑H relationship has contributed to the growth in the resources that National 4‑H Council has been able to make available to local 4‑H communities nation-wide. These natural connections and the way that TSC’s corporate values: development, teamwork, initiative, honesty and integrity mirror the values in 4‑H is what makes our partnership so strong. The company’s mission is To work hard, have fun, and make money by providing legendary service and great products at everyday low prices, and just as TSC puts all of its effort toward delivering on that promise, they continue to deliver on the promise of helping millions of 4‑H young people make a difference in their communities today, and become the innovative, skilled workforce of tomorrow.


National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles, lead vocalist for international super duo Sugarland, has become one of the most popular singer-songwriters in music today.

Since Sugarland exploded onto the music scene in ’04 they have sold over nine million records, achieved eight No. 1 singles and have won numerous awards including trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards. Nettles has won five ASCAP awards for her songwriting abilities, and in 2008 individually received a Grammy Award, ACM Award and CMA Award for penning the emotionally charged, platinum-selling No. 1 hit “Stay.” At the 2009 ACM Awards, Nettles was honored with the “Crystal Milestone Award” for being the first woman to be the solo songwriter on an ACM “Song of the Year” winner since 1972.

Nettles has been seen all over the media spectrum, with performances ranging from President Barack Obama’s inauguration celebration to Oprah, Good Morning America, Ellen, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CNN Heroes, among others. Her fans have grown to expect Nettles to deliver memorable, heartfelt performances both individually and with surprise duet partners: At the 2007 AMAs, Beyonce joined Sugarland on stage for a countrified version of her hit single “Irreplaceable.” Two years later, at The Kennedy Center Honors, Nettles paid tribute to icon Bruce Springsteen, covering “Glory Days” and “I’m On Fire” with Ben Harper. In 2010, Nettles, Katy Perry and Keri Hilson opened VH1 Divas: Salute The Troops with a playful and sexy reprise of the WWII-era hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and most recently Nettles treated fans to a show-stopping performance of “California King Bed” with Rihanna at the 2011 ACM Awards.

Nettles and Bush have performed in numerous European countries and headlined multiple U.S. tours, including their current two-year run on the Incredible Machine Tour, which continues to sell out venues across the country.

During her tenure in 4‑H, Jennifer was a member of Clovers & Company, Georgia’s official 4‑H performing arts group, for seven years. Her participation in the group is remembered for remarkable performances, including “Break It To Me Gently” in the 1990-91 show and in addition, Jennifer performed at National 4‑H Congress in Chicago and National 4‑H Conference in Washington, DC.

Jennifer Nettles grew up as a member of Coffee County, Georgia 4‑H. In addition to serving on the Junior and Senior State Boards, Jennifer won Georgia State 4‑H Congress honors for her Performing Arts project. She also served as a camp counselor at Rock Eagle 4‑H Center from 1993-1995.

Youth In Action Award

Nate Seese

Nate Seese is an active 15-year-old who found a way to make a difference in his East Lansing, Michigan, community through 4‑H.

When he joined the organization five years ago, he was able to combine his passion for raising livestock and his commitment to serving those in need. During his time in Byron Center Busy Workers 4‑H Club, he raised market lambs and hogs, and showed his projects at the Kent County Youth Fair.

But there was something more he wanted to do. Something that could reach beyond the applause for a profitable auction of his livestock.

Nate saw hunger was a problem in his community when he volunteered at the local food pantry. There, he says, it was “flooded with people who needed help.”

He coordinated with local businesses and found a way to donate meat from his 4‑H projects to local Byron Center’s food pantry. In two years, he’s provided 1,000 lbs of meat.

When he is not working on his 4‑H projects, the high school freshman is active in the jazz band and his local church. He also volunteers with a number of local organizations, including serving dinners and lending a hand at the Buist Community Assistance Center.

Nate plans to attend college after high school, and is considering studying Food Sciences or Pharmacy.

Corporate Leadership Award


DuPont and 4‑H share the belief that the power of the work we do today, will transform tomorrow.

In 1990, 4‑H’s heritage of hands-on, agricultural science programming led to a strong partnership with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. The alliance with Pioneer supported 4‑H Ag science throughout the decade, until DuPont acquired the company in 1998. But, DuPont also shared a common mission and vision with 4‑H, which allowed the two organizations to continue their strong partnership to this day. DuPont/Pioneer has been a proud supporter of 4‑H for the past 22 years, which is why we are proud to be honoring them with the 2012 4‑H Corporate Leadership Award. DuPont’s mission to be the world’s most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, and healthier life for people everywhere has allowed them to be involved in a diverse range of fields since 1802. The company is dedicated to delivering innovative, science-based solutions to leading global challenges including, food security, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting people and the environment through their collaboration with customers, governments, NGOs, and other thought leaders. This shared focus and commitment to scientific innovation makes the DuPont/4‑H partnership a natural fit.

A key factor in the strength of the partnership has been the passion of committed leaders. James C. Borel, Executive Vice President at DuPont, has served on the National 4‑H Council Board of Trustees since 2004, as a Board member, as chair of the Resource Development Committee, and, since 2008, as Board Chair. His leadership and vision for the DuPont/4‑H partnership has contributed to vast growth in the resources Council has been able to make available to the 4‑H movement in the US, and to recent efforts to develop a coordinated 4‑H movement globally.

In 2010, DuPont was one of the five founding partners supporting the launch of 4‑H’s global network initiative, contributing initial capital and momentum to begin to bring together 4‑H programs all across the globe. In October 2011, DuPont and National 4‑H Council announced an expansion of the partnership to strengthen youth development in rural communities within five African nations. DuPont’s commitment of $2 million over the next two years will allow the global 4‑H network to help African youth create sustainable livelihoods and improve household and national food security for people all across the continent.

The farmers and agronomists who will feed the world tomorrow are in fact, today’s young people. DuPont’s commitment will prepare them for the future through the support and positive youth development they experience in 4‑H.


National Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion

Nancy Grace

A Georgia 4‑H alumna, Nancy Grace is the powerful force behind CNN Headline News’ (HLN) top-rated Nancy Grace. A former prosecutor with an unparalleled record of success, she has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil and Larry King Live, among others, dispensing her firebrand take on the modern justice system. In 2011, Grace was named one of the most impactful and powerful women in entertainment by both leading industry trade magazines, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Grace’s first book, Objection!, was published in 2005 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Her two subsequent novels, The Eleventh Victim (2009) and Death on the D-List (2010), were also New York Times bestsellers, and a television movie adaptation of The Eleventh Victim premiered on Lifetime in November 2012. Grace was an executive producer on the film project. She is the recipient of several American Women in Radio & Television “Gracie Awards” for her Nancy Grace Investigates primetime report on Court TV and has been awarded the “Individual Achievement/Best Program Host” honor.

Nancy Grace initially came to television from the Atlanta Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, where she served more than a decade as a special prosecutor of felony cases involving murder, rape, child molestation and arson. Known for her authentic sensibility and for not holding back her opinion on high-profile cases, she was tapped to co- host Court TV’s Cochran and Grace and, later, the live daily trial coverage program, Closing Arguments. She also presided over the daytime hit Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, for which she received an Emmy® Award nomination.

As a Georgia 4‑Her since the age of 10, Grace participated in 4‑H Project Achievement every year. During college, Grace continued her 4‑H involvement as a counselor at Rock Eagle 4‑H Center . In 2011, she was honored with the Distinguished Alum Medallion and inducted as a Master 4‑Her.

Nancy Grace, her husband and her twins reside in Atlanta and New York City.

Youth In Action Award

Morgan Billingslea-Walker

The 2011 4‑H Youth in Action Award was given to Morgan Billingslea-Walker. While overcoming personal health issues, Morgan led the effort to make health and nutrition programs available to those in her neighborhood. She has offered them the opportunity for a better, healthier lifestyle.

Corporate Leadership Award


The 4‑H Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Coca-Cola for their work supporting the efforts of young people like Morgan making a difference in their communities. For 42 years, Coca-Cola has provided leadership to the organization, and funded grants that allow youth to work on cutting-edge environmental and balanced living programs that positively affect millions of people.


Abraham Lincoln Vision Award

Dan Glickman

The Abraham Lincoln Vision Award was presented to Dan Glickman, former president of Refugees International and former Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Throughout his expansive career in political, legal and government positions, Mr. Glickman has always worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of youth.

Youth In Action Award

Samantha Jo Ridley

The 2010 4‑H Youth in Action Award was given to 4‑H’er Samantha Jo Riddley, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, and the first to attend college. Through 4‑H, she has helped her community in many ways, and has used her involvement in archery to bring the tradition back to her tribe.

Corporate Leadership Award


The 4‑H Corporate Leadership Award was presented to JCPenney in honor of its generous support and ongoing dedication to youth. For more than 50 years, JCPenney’s strategic partnership with 4‑H has impacted millions of youth all across the nation who participate in 4‑H Afterschool programming. The company’s support has provided millions of youth with a safe place to learn, grow and become smart, strong and socially responsible citizens. Accepting the award on behalf of JCPenney was Myron ‘Mike’ Ullman III, Chairman and former CEO of JCPenney.