Land-Grant University Leader and 4-H Young Alum Elected as Representatives to the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees

By National 4-H Council December 15, 2020

Leaders support 4-H’s goal of empowering 10 million young people with opportunities to succeed in life and career

CHEVY CHASE, MD (December 15, 2020) – National 4-H Council has announced the election of two new leaders to its Board of TrusteesDr. Jon Boren, Associate Dean and Director of New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service, and Abby Durheim, 4-H Young Alumni Advisory Committee member and a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Boren and Durheim will support Council’s mission to increase investment and participation in the nation’s largest youth development organization. They will be key partners in the Board’s work to support the 4 H system’s ambitious goal of reaching 10 million young people by 2025, with a special focus on promoting youth voice and supporting 4-H’s ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

As co-chair of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) 4-H Leadership Committee, Dr. Boren is uniquely positioned to represent the Extension System on National 4-H Council’s Board. Among the priorities will be to address the challenges facing our young people, including the need to provide them with practical, research-based programs offered through 4-H to improve their quality of life.

As one of 11 alumni leaders on National 4-H Council’s Young Alumni Advisory Committee (YAAC), Durheim will share youth voice with the National 4-H Council Board in her role as the YAAC representative. As a dynamic spokesperson and advocate for young people, Durheim’s perspective of the issues that directly affect them will help 4-H to provide many more young people with access to the life-changing programs delivered by the nation’s land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension System.

“We are grateful to Jon and Abby for their commitment to 4-H and for joining Council’s Board at this critically important time,” said National 4-H Council President and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo. “Their unique perspectives and expertise will be a valuable addition as we increase support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and strive to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America,” added Sirangelo.

Sirangelo also thanked and praised outgoing Trustee Dr. Edwin Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, for his service to National 4-H Council’s Board. “Ed’s contribution to our Board has been extraordinary. As a national leader in Cooperative Extension and youth development, Ed’s inspiring vision for the future of 4-H has shaped our work—and benefited millions of young people,” said Sirangelo.

Dr. Jon Boren

Associate Dean and Director, New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service Las Cruces, NM; co-chair, ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee

Dr. Boren earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Wildlife Ecology and his Doctorate in Range Science from Oklahoma State University, before coming to New Mexico State University in 1996 as an assistant Professor and Extension wildlife specialist. He has investigated wildlife and livestock interactions on rangelands and forests in New Mexico, developed innovative methods to cope with problems from wildlife damage, and developed teaching materials to use in natural resource educational curriculum and educational programs for youth in 4-H, FFA and the public school system. Dr. Boren has been the Associate Dean and Director since 2008 and Cooperative Extension’s educational programs reach over 650,000 New Mexicans annually.

Abby Durheim

Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Abby Durheim has been involved in Virginia and Nebraska 4-H for 12 years. She is a senior at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication with a minor in Agricultural Economics and an emphasis in public policy. After graduation, Durheim hopes to advocate on behalf of American agriculture to legislators. As a 4-H’er, she was heavily involved in Agriculture and Civic Engagement programs. Now, Durheim is passionate about providing agriculturalists and youth with a voice and seat at the discussion table.

About 4-H

4‑H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for careers tomorrow. 4‑H programs empower nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4‑H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. The research-backed 4‑H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

Learn more about 4‑H at, find us on Facebook at‑H and follow us on Twitter at