2019 4‑H Legacy Awards: Stories that Inspire

by Kittrina Thompson

Since 2009, National 4‑H Council has gathered its top supporters, most passionate alumni, and inspiring youth to celebrate the life-changing experience that is 4‑H. Every year, we sit in awe as current and former 4‑H’ers share their stories of growth, determination and empowerment. This monumental occasion, known as the 4‑H Legacy Awards, continues to remind us of the power of 4‑H.

This year was no different, as 4‑H celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the coveted fundraising event.

Inspiring Kids to be Doers

Like every other year, event attendees were serenaded by youth performers who, throughout the evening, shared their musical gifts through instrument and voice.

Additionally, as it is custom for every 4‑H gathering, the 4‑H Pledge was recited. It’s a reminder to even the oldest, most seasoned 4‑H’er in the room that the organization has a long-lasting impact.

This year, we awarded four new young people with the 4‑H Youth in Action Award, honoring their work in our four pillar areas. The 2019 recipients are: Addy Battel (Agriculture – Bayer); Mason McClintock (Civic Engagement); Elisabeth Watkins (Healthy Living); and Clyde Van Dyke (STEM – HughesNet). Each uses their interest and passion in their respective pillar to positively impact their community.

As a highlight of the night, one youth recipient was named the National 4‑H Youth in Action winner. That youth is STEM pillar winner Clyde Van Dyke, who used his knowledge in STEM and geospatial mapping to help locate and help low-income families and underserved populations in his Johnson City, New York, community.

The Stories of Our Alumni

The 2019 4‑H Legacy master of ceremonies was no stranger to the 4‑H Legacy stage, as she first attended in 2012 as an honoree. Renowned chef, TV personality and author Carla Hall, hosted the fundraising event.

“You can’t underestimate the power of 4‑H and what it does to help kids go out into the world,” the Tennessee 4‑H alum said as she shared her 4‑H story.

We also welcomed back Jennifer Nettles, who has always played a significant role in 4‑H Legacy in the past few years. As the National Spokesperson, the Georgia 4‑H alum was honored with the 4‑H Brand Champion Award, recognizing her continued support and advocacy of 4‑H.

“4‑H connects kids to each other and connects kids to their dreams,” Nettles said as she expressed how 4‑H amplified her dreams of being a performer.

The 10th anniversary not only brought back returning honorees, but it also welcomed new honorees to the Legacy stage. This year’s Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion recipients are: The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers, WA U.S. Representative (Washington 4‑H); racehorse trainer and Triple-Crown winner Bob Baffert (Arizona 4‑H); U.S. Air Force Colonel; Ericka Flanigan (South Dakota 4‑H); and professional IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball (California 4‑H).

After receiving their medallions, the alumni shared their 4‑H stories and more during an alumni panel, moderated by Carla Hall.

Support and Advocacy

The 2019 Grow True Leaders Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Bayer for their support of 4‑H and helping enhance STEM and agri-science education through the Science Matters program and their support of the National Youth Summit on Agr-Science. Bayer president Philip Blake accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

For more highlights from the 2019 Legacy Awards, follow #4HLegacy on social media or visit 4‑H.org/4HLegacy for photos and more.